June 03, 2021
New Jersey's six coronavirus vaccination mega-sites will be no more by the end of July, Gov. Phil Murphy said Wednesday.
The mega-sites will close down over the next two months as New Jersey refocuses its vaccine efforts to more local, community-based locations.
The mega-sites located at the Rowan College of South Jersey in Gloucester County and the Atlantic City Convention Center in Atlantic County have already administered their final round of first doses. Both locations will close in the next two weeks.
The mega-site at the Moorestown Mall in Burlington County will administer its last round of first doses on July 1 before shutting down on July 23. This will be the last of the six sites to close. The three other sites located in the central and northern parts of the state will close in June and July, too.
New Jersey opened the mega-sites in January to help bolster the vaccine distribution process. When they originally opened, the mega-sites served as appointment-based locations where front-line health care workers could get vaccinated.
They eventually transitioned into locations where anyone ages 12 and up could walk up and receive a COVID-19 vaccine. They've recently been used to distribute vaccines to local community centers, too.
Since opening, the six mega-sites have delivered nearly 2 million doses and fully vaccinated more than 950,000 people, Murphy said.
"For the past five months, these sites have been the backbone of our overall vaccination effort as we built out into every community across the state," Murphy said. "We are exceptionally grateful to the health care systems who partnered with us at each of these sites and to their nursing and administrative staffs. And we thank all of the partners, whether they be federal, state or local, who provided essential, on-the-ground services that made these sites run."
Murphy, however, did not signal the moment as an opportunity to take a victory lap.
"This in no way means that our job is done or that we've accomplished our overall vaccination goals," Murphy said. "We still have work to do."
The state transitioning its COVID-19 vaccine efforts to the local level "is moving forward at full speed," Murphy stated.
"We're going on the offense," Murphy said. "We have to bring the vaccine to people, and we're going local."
Among the local, community-based initiatives that the state has undertaken in recent weeks is the "Grateful for the Shot" campaign, which has allowed people to get vaccinated after attending religious services.
The state is about 90% of the way toward its goal of having 70% of the eligible population, or 4.7 million residents, fully vaccinated by the end of June.
More than 4.25 million residents are fully vaccinated, according to the state dashboard. Over 9 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered so far.
There are roughly 1,800 COVID-19 vaccination sites located across the state. Vaccination sites can be found by using the state's appointment finder.