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Updated: Rutgers Plaza Tagged As County Coronavirus Vaccination Clinic Site

A satellite location of Somerset County’s mass vaccination site will run at Rutgers Plaza on April 7 and 8.

Update: The vaccination clinic will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on April 7 and 8.

Appointments must be made, and can be, only through the state COVID portal at https://covid19.nj.gov/pages/vaccine.

Original Story: Rutgers Plaza on Easton Avenue will be a Somerset County operated COVID-19 vaccination clinic.

The vaccinations will start “soon,” Mayor Phil Kramer said. He said he could not be more specific because it was not yet known when the shipment of vaccines would arrive.

The site will be a satellite clinic to the county’s main vaccination operation at Raritan Valley Community College in Branchburg.

Kramer said the vaccine that will be distributed at Rutgers Plaza will be the Johnson & Johnson version, which requires only one shot.

Kramer, who sits on the County’s coronavirus task force, said he, Township Manager Robert Vornlocker and state Assemblyman Joe Danielsen lobbied for a Franklin location.

“But they were going to anyway, we’re the biggest town in the county and we have the most cases,” he said. “We pushed for it, but we didn’t have to push hard.”

“They knew I was going to scream if Franklin didn’t get attention,” Kramer said.

The clinic will be open to all Somerset County residents, but vaccinations will be only given out by appointment, Kramer said.

Appointments can be made through the web site covid19.nj.gov/finder, said Somerset County spokesman Nathan Rudy.

“We won’t open up appointments until we know exactly how many and when we have vaccinations in hand,” Rudy said.

Plans are for the clinic to be situated in the parking lot of the former K-Mart building, said Somerset County Commission Director Shanel Robinson.

Robinson said she was not sure yet if this will be a recurring clinic.

“It depends on how much allocation we get,” she said. Robinson said that all vaccines must be administered within a week of their disbursement.

“We usually get our shipments on Tuesdays,” she said.

As to whether she would like a recurring clinic in the township, Robinson said, “Absolutely. That’s what we told the state.”

Rudy said the County sets up clinics throughout the county so as to bring the vaccination to people, especially senior citizens.

Kramer said there is a push to get homebound residents vaccinated, so a hotline has been established: 908-231-7155.

“Homebound could be the 85-year-old who’s only left their home to get groceries,” he said. “For someone who really can’t get out of the house, they’re hoping to go to their home” and administer the vaccine. he said.

The original plan was to set up a vaccination clinic at the Quail Brook Golf Club, but that plan was mooted with the start of golf season, Rudy said.

Earlier this year, First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens was chosen as a vaccination site for a special program to reach underserved populations, especially people of color and Hispanics. Nearly 3,200 people were vaccinated at that site.

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