New Jersey coronavirus update: Booster shots now available for immunocompromised residents

NEW JERSEY (WABC) -- Some residents in New Jersey are getting another line of defense from the coronavirus starting this weekend.

It's been a busy Saturday for vaccination centers around New Jersey, a day after the CDC's new guidance allowed for third doses of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine for immunocompromised Americans.

In Essex County, more than 300 people received their third dose by noon at the Kmart site in West Orange, one of two locations, including Essex County College in Newark. And even more are expected.

"We're doing the vaccine, testing and of course today is the first day of the booster -- the turnout has been great," county executive Joseph Divincenzo said. "Essex County was hit the hardest. We have the most cases, the most deaths here so we had to be ready here and we have a great team and they're doing a great job."

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While only 3% of the state residents are now eligible, some residents are getting their shots as soon as possible with the delta variant spreading across the nation.

"The only places I've gone is to the doctor because I didn't want to come into contact with anyone and I didn't want to talk to anyone, I just stayed home and now I feel like I'll have a little more freedom," booster shot recipient Estrella Bianci said.

Vaccination centers are open in New Jersey from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., six days a week and walk ins are welcome.

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Meanwhile in New York, health officials said Saturday they would soon issue state guidance on giving additional COVID-19 vaccine doses to people with severely weakened immune systems, now that the federal government is allowing them extra shots.

State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said Saturday that the state's vaccine task force met Friday to discuss the matter and would complete its review quickly.


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