HOBOKEN, NJ - Senior citizens in Hoboken have begun to receive vaccinations for the COVID-19 virus, as cases continue to spike citywide.

The past week has seen roughly 250 new cases reported in Hoboken, bringing the total since March to 2,443 confirmed infections. The city has seen 39 COVID-19 related deaths, while Hoboken University Medical Center reports treating 21 patients with COVID-19, which include two Hoboken residents.

"It is an unfortunate reality that Hoboken continues to remain in the middle of a post-holiday surge of COVID-19 cases, reflecting trends across the state and country," said Mayor Bhalla. "The record high numbers we continue to see is yet another reminder that it is critical to avoid indoor gatherings beyond household members, wear a mask whenever you’re outside your home, avoid travel outside of New Jersey, and social distance whenever possible. I know we all want this pandemic behind us, but it’s on all of us to remain diligent so the virus doesn’t spread to our vulnerable residents who remain at-risk."

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On Thursday, the Hoboken University Medical Center began administering the Moderna vaccine to seniors. The city received an allocation of 500 vaccines from the State of New Jersey last week, while approximately 1,500 seniors have signed up on the Hoboken pre-registration list.

“I’m extremely thankful to receive one of Hoboken’s first vaccines for seniors,” said retired Hoboken Fire Chief Richard Tremitiedi. “As a former fire chief, I know what it takes to keep people safe, and I can assure my friends in the senior community – the vaccine is in fact safe, and will protect us from the deadly virus. It has never been more important to get vaccinated, for the sake of our community, and so we can soon return to normal.”

Officials are hoping that the vaccine supply is able to accommodate the demand.

"If Hoboken was guaranteed vaccine shipments by the State, we would schedule vaccine appointments throughout the next several weeks; however there are no guarantees given the slower than expected flow of vaccines from the federal government to states and then to municipalities, and we do not want to schedule appointments that we would then have to cancel and reschedule," said Bhalla. "Ultimately, cities like Hoboken are at the mercy of the federal government on how quickly vaccines can be produced and distributed to local governments."

Nevertheless, Seniors are encouraged to continue to sign up for the vaccine. Individuals can visit www.hobokennj.gov/seniors and fill out the required information, or call CERT at 201-420-5621, Monday through Friday from 9 am until 2 pm. Friends and family are welcome to facilitate the process on behalf of any individual over the age of 65.

It is anticipated that the State may hopefully increase the scope of facilities allowed to administer the vaccine.

"We’ve strongly advocated with the State to allocate vaccines to other Hoboken medical providers and pharmacies, which have done an incredible job of testing in Hoboken," said Bhalla, "and I have no doubt they would be able to efficiently vaccinate more of our population in the weeks ahead."

Hudson County has opened a drive-through vaccination site in Kearny for seniors 65 years of age or older and those with pre-existing medical conditions, as determined by the State and CDC. Appointments are required; however they were booked as of Friday due to the high demand. For more information, visit https://www.hudsoncovidvax.org/register.

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