COVID Update New Jersey: Residents, staff at long-term care facilities begin getting 2nd dose of vaccine

Coronavirus Update New Jersey
OLD BRIDGE, New Jersey (WABC) -- Residents and workers at the first long-term care facility in New Jersey to get the COVID-19 vaccination began receiving their second doses Monday.

Governor Phil Murphy and Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli were on hand at the Roosevelt Care Center in Old Bridge for the event, as the state continues to mourn more than 7,200 long-term care residents who have died from the novel coronavirus.

Three weeks ago, 103-year-old Newark native Mildred Clements became the first long-term care resident in the state to be vaccinated.

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Mildred, who has now live through two pandemics, received her shot to a round of applause. She was followed by nurse Esther Moodey, the state's first nursing home staff member to receive the vaccine.

"It is an understatement to say that this has been an incredibly challenging year for all of us in healthcare, on many levels," Moodey said after receiving the first dose. "I am thankful for the COVID-19 vaccine and honored to be the first staff member at our facility receive it, in solidarity with my colleagues in other long term care facilities around New Jersey. The vaccine brings hope and optimism about the future and promise of a return to 'normal.'"

Nursing home residents and staff members at about 90 locations across New Jersey began receiving their second shot Monday.

Officials say the vaccinations are being administered pursuant to the Federal Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program, a partnership between the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), CVS, and Walgreens to facilitate on-site COVID-19 vaccination services.

Throughout the pandemic, residents and staff of the state's long-term care facilities have been among the most severely impacted.

The state last week opened up COVID-19 vaccinations to residents 65 and older, as well as those from 16 to 64 with serious medical conditions or who are smokers.

Those chronic conditions that allow for eligibility include:
--Chronic kidney disease
--Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
--Down syndrome
--Heart conditions (such as heart failure, coronary artery disease and cardiomyopathy)
--Obesity and severe obesity
--Sickle cell disease
--Type 2 Diabetes

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