Delaware Valley ramps up COVID-19 vaccine rollout, NJ site opens after delay

GLOUCESTER TWP., New Jersey (WPVI) -- A new COVID-19 vaccination site in New Jersey was finally ready to open Wednesday after being delayed for nearly a week as the site waited for a vaccine shipment to arrive.

The site is at Camden County College in Gloucester Township.

That site was ready to open last Thursday, but the vaccine hadn't arrived at that time. Now that they've gotten the shipment, workers are preparing to administer up to 500 doses of the Moderna vaccine per day.

It's happening as states across the area ramp up vaccine rollouts.

As part of an effort to speed up vaccinations, the federal government has announced that its not holding back second doses of the vaccine.
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Federal officials also recommend that states give the vaccine to everyone age 65 and up.

But Pennsylvania health officials aren't ready to do that just yet. They're still operating on their original state schedule.

To date, Pennsylvania has vaccinated more than 311,000 people.

Pennsylvania Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine says Pennsylvania will receive $100 million from the stimulus bill to cover the cost of the vaccine roll out.

"We're looking forward to receiving that money, and that will cover the cost of all of the different measures that we need to do the vaccine and large vaccine clinics to get the public vaccinated," said Levine.

Delaware is preparing to roll out phase 1B within the next two weeks. It would include essential workers and people age 65 and up.

Delaware's governor says an important part of the rollout is making sure people register.

"We need to make sure people get registered," said Gov. John Carney (D - Delaware), "...We can keep track of who gets vaccinated and who doesn't."

In Philadelphia, 50,529 people have been vaccinated. More than 9,000 of them got their second dose this week.

The city's vaccine advisory commission just completed the list of who is eligible for the vaccine under groups 1B and 1C.

There's one major difference between Philadelphia's plan and the federal plan: Philadelphia has moved people who are under age 75 with medical conditions higher up on the list. Instead of being in group 1C, they're in group 1B.

"It's because these medical conditions are more common in minority populations. We have higher rates of them here in Philadelphia than elsewhere. It's a more important risk factor here. And this is one way for us to address the racial disparity of COVID mortality here in Philadelphia," said Dr. Thomas Farley, Philadelphia Health Commissioner.

New Jersey is in phase 1B. In that state, the phase includes people age 75 and up and first responders. Health care workers are in phase 1A in New Jersey. The state has placed people 65 and up and people under age 65 with medical conditions in group 1C.

The new vaccination site at Camden County College is open six days a week from 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. by appointment only.

Resources for determining vaccination groups, registering for the vaccine or finding vaccination locations are as follows:

New Jersey

Delaware

Pennsylvania

Philadelphia
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