Quail Brook Golf Club Picked As Initial COVID Vaccination Site

Somerset County Health Department director Dr. Namitha Reddy receives a COVID-19 vaccination from Ravi Modh of the Rutgers Nurse Anesthesia Program. Looking on, left to right, are Somerset County Freeholders Brian Levine, Deputy Director Sara Sooy, Director Shanel Robinson, Melonie Marano, and Brian Gallagher. (Photo: Somerset County Freeholders.)

The Quail Brook Golf Club has been chosen as one of four initial COVID-19 vaccination sites in Somerset County.

Most county residents can expect to be vaccinated between mid-Spring and August 2021, according to a press release from the Somerset County Freeholders.

The County owned golf course, which lies off New Brunswick Road and is also the home to the County’s Quail Brook Senior Center, will be joined in the initial vaccination effort by sites at Raritan Valley Community College in Branchburg, the Bridgewater Senior Center, and Warrenbrook Golf Course in Warren, according to a press release about the program.

Additional sites throughout the County will be identified so that residents do not have to drive too far from their residences to get vaccinated, according to the release.

Mayor Phil Kramer said he was “gratified that there is a site” in the township.

“State Assemblyman (Joe) Danielsen and I lobbied for that,” he said. “To be honest, we didn’t have to lobby hard. The county realized that Franklin, being the largest town in Somerset County and with the numbers of infected, that that made sense.”

The County has been divided into north, central and south sections by the Somerset County Department of Health for vaccination distribution purposes, according to the release.

About 140 county based community health personnel – including Dr. Namitha Reddy, the County’s Health Director – received the first of two Moderna vaccinations on December 29 in Somerville. The vaccine was provided to the County by the federal government, according to the release.

The Moderna vaccine must be administered in two shots given 28 days apart.

Those receiving the vaccination on December 29 included public health workers and employees at the Richard Hall Community Health & Wellness Center, Somerset County Jail nurses and staff and county Emergency Medical Technicians.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has created a tiered system for distributing the vaccines, with community health care workers being first, followed by essential employees and then high-risk members of the general population.

As the supply of vaccines grows during 2021, the groups to receive vaccines will expand to include the general population, according to the release.

New Jersey is providing the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer, Inc.  to hospital systems for vaccinations of health care workers, and to a number of regional and national chain pharmacies for distribution to long term-care facility residents. Staff at RWJ-Somerset began receiving shots the week of December 21, and long-term care residents and staff began receiving doses on December 28.

All of the Moderna vaccinations will be free, but participants will have to register using the Somerset County Health Department’s online tool that will be interoperable with state and federal systems to ensure accurate and complete record keeping.

While Somerset County is administering the Moderna vaccine doses as they are provided by the federal government, COVID-19 testing will be significantly ramped up to complement the current primary testing site at Raritan Valley Community College, according to the release.

Somerset County is negotiating with private industry partners to provide in-home test kits with online guidance, mobile vaccination locations for the communities that are most impacted by COVID, and social service agencies serving the most vulnerable populations, the release said.

Dr. Reddy said she received the first shot to show confidence in the vaccine.

“If I am going to ask my friends and neighbors in Somerset County to get vaccinated, it is vital that I step up and do it myself to show how confident I am in its safety and efficacy,” Dr. Reddy said in the release. “We’ve all worked so hard together in the past year to get through the pandemic, and with this vaccine we can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel and be ready to find our new normal.”

The County’s goal is to vaccinate 70 percent of Somerset County’s population by August 2021.

For more information on Somerset County’s COVID-19 vaccination rollout, visit https://bit.ly/3nXRYHO. Additional information on COVID-19 testing in Somerset County is available at https://bit.ly/38KzrZa.

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