Ocean County Health Officials have vaccinated more than 1,000 health care works in week two of Phase 1A and are now adding in more hours and days to continue that trend.

Anyone who falls in the Phase 1A category can now head to the vaccine clinic at RWJ-Barnabas Health Arena in Toms River from 1:00 - 7:00 pm during the week and 9:00 am to 3:00 pm on Saturdays, you just have to make an appointment first.

“The vaccinations are distributed by appointment only and for now only to those who fall under the Phase 1A which is established by the state and federal governments," Ocean County Public Health Coordinator Dan Regenye said in a statement Monday. “We have successfully completed more than 1,000 vaccinations and look forward to continuing this process at the High School North site. We will be adding other clinics throughout the County including Southern Ocean County in the near future.”

Regenye explains that New Jersey’s Phase 1A includes vaccines for any paid or unpaid persons serving in healthcare settings who have the potential for direct or indirect exposure to patients or infectious materials and are unable to work from home.

“The doses we are distributing are for those health care workers (paid and unpaid) that did not receive the vaccine at area hospitals or at long term care facilities and includes public health care workers, school nurses, emergency medical technicians and emergency medical services among others,” Regenye said.

New Jersey, so far has administered around 101,000 vaccines doses out of about 400,000 available in Phase 1A, across the state.

It's much smaller on the local level.

“As of now, we are providing almost 300 vaccines a day,” Regenye said. “It’s important that we adhere to the schedule developed by the federal government and the state Department of Health. While we expect the demand will be high, there is a process we are required to follow. Hopefully the supply of vaccine will increase quickly and distribution will do the same.”

We'll be in Phase 1A for a while and then Phase 1B so it'll be a while before the vaccines are ready for the general public.

There are approximately 650,000 people eligible for Phase 1A.

The CDC says that Phase 1B includes frontline essential workers such as firefighters, police officers, food and agricultural workers, United States Postal Service workers, manufacturing workers, grocery store workers, public transit workers, and those who work in the educational sector (teachers, support staff, and daycare workers) as well as people 75 years old and older, Regenye explains, because they are at high risk of hospitalization, illness, and death from COVID-19.

People aged 75 years and older who are also residents of long-term care facilities should be offered vaccination in Phase 1A.

The Ocean County Health Department is working in partnership with the Ocean County Health Department, the Ocean County Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Management, Toms River Regional Schools, the Ocean County Board of Commissioners and health care providers to distribute the vaccine.

You can follow Vin Ebenau on Twitter and Instagram and email news tips to vin.ebenau@townsquaremedia.com.

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