NEW JERSEY CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT 12 - New Jersey Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-12) held a vaccine safety tele-townhall to spread accurate information about the COVID-19 vaccine and answer any questions. The tele-town hall was also joined by New Jersey Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli; Chief Executive Officer of Henry J. Austin Health Center Dr. Kemi Alli; and Director of the Office of Minority and Multicultural Health Amanda Medina-Forrester.

To hear the whole tele-townhall, please click here.

            As of now, New Jersey has over 778,000 positive cases and nearly 21,000 deaths. The state has administered 1.8 million doses of the vaccine, with an emphasis on getting the vaccine to underserved communities. Black and Hispanic communities have double the mortality rate as white communities in New Jersey, according to Persichilli.

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            “The department is using a data-driven process to ensure it is reaching communities who have experienced the greatest burden from COVID-19 and also face the most barriers to access it,” Commissioner Persichilli said, “Community health workers will be deployed in communities of color to administer and help residents register for the vaccine.”

            The Commissioner said that the state’s vaccine allotment has been expanded due to the Biden administration. Mrs. Persichilli is hoping that the state will have enough doses of the vaccine for the whole state by mid-April.

            Mrs. Medina-Forrester dispelled some rumors surrounding the COVID-19 vaccine, such as the vaccine giving people the virus or having an effect on women’s ability to get pregnant. Side effects are common such as aches or possible fevers after getting the second dose; Mrs. Medina-Forrester assured listeners that these are not irregular. She then  urged residents to register for the vaccine as soon as possible.

            Dr. Alli took questions from callers regarding the need to still wear masks after getting the vaccine and how to reach herd immunity. Masks will still be necessary for some time even for those who have received the vaccine to stop any further spread. Mask mandates will stop once communities have vaccinated 70% or more of their residents, according to Dr. Alli.

            Back in January, Congresswoman Watson Coleman tested positive for COVID-19 after members of Congress were put into lockdown during the attempted insurrection at the Capitol by an insurrectionist mob. Numerous members of Congress tested positive for COVID-19 during the lockdown, according to multiple reports.

            Congresswoman Watson Coleman has now been fully vaccinated and plans to host more COVID-19 vaccine safety events in the near future to encourage people to register.

To register for the COVID-19 vaccine in New Jersey, please click here.