Staying Safe During COVID-19:Signing up for Notification of Covid Vaccine Appointment Availability
By Mary Ann Scharf, RN, Ed.D. Faculty Emeritus of College of Nursing, Seton Hall University
The roll-out of the Covid-19 Vaccine began December 15th, 2020, for category 1a including health care workers and long term care residents and staff members. Those employed by Atlantic Health System can get either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine by appointment at designated sites. Other health care workers such as dentists or those working in a doctor’s office or other health care facility can sign up for an appointment by calling Shop Rite. Appointments for January are filled but you can now sign up for an appointment in February. Go to https://covid19.nj.gov/pages/healthcare-workers-covid-19-vaccine-locations. Data you will need to provide includes your name, address, date of birth, race, ethnicity, gender. Bring ID to vaccination site.
As of January 8, those eligible in category 1b can now sign up for the Covid-19 vaccine. This includes first responders such as firefighters, EMTs, law enforcement officers; essential workers such as corrections officers, clergy, teachers, child care workers, elder care; those who work in grocery stores, food pantries, real estate offices, utility companies; public transportation such as bus drivers; those over 65; those 14-64 with chronic health conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, COPD, asthma, cancer, cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, cystic fibrosis, overweight, obesity, those with weakened immune systems, sickle cell, and other chronic conditions. Appointments are required. To be notified when appointments are available, you can sign up by going to the following websites:
You will need to enter your name, zip code, email address, date of birth, and cell phone number.
You will be notified when appointments are available for the vaccine. Weekly allotments are being sent to each state. When there is enough vaccine for the category you are eligible for, you will be notified by text or email. You will then need to make an appointment immediately as there is a limited supply. Atlantic Health has set up a megasite at the Rockaway Mall in the former Sears building.
The Pfizer and Moderna Covid vaccines require two shots given three to four weeks apart. The first shot may result in a sore arm. With one shot, the protection is only 50%. After the second shot, some people feel tired, have headaches, or other symptoms for a day or two. It takes one to two weeks for the body to mount a full immune response. After the second shot, the vaccine is 94% effective against Covid-19.
I encourage all those eligible to get a vaccine shot as soon as you are eligible or can get an appointment.
Until 90% of the population is vaccinated, we will not have herd immunity and the coronavirus will continue to spread and kill people. Until the vast majority is immunized, continue to wear your mask, wash your hands frequently, stay home except for medical appointments, and keep at least six feet away from other people. Use Clorox wipes to sanitize door handles, phones, and other frequently touched surfaces.