SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ — The Union County Mobile COVID-19 vaccine units brought vaccine supplies to seniors at Scotch Plains Senior Housing and St. John's Baptist Church in Scotch Plains as part of ongoing efforts throughout the state to increase the vaccination rate, particularly among vulnerable populations.
Pastor Shawn Wallace and his wife, Carita, of St. John's Baptist Church said that it is important to get the word out to the Black community to get vaccinated. The shots were administered by Union County Health Department staff. About 225 doses were provided on Tuesday.
“It is important that residents know that getting vaccinated and the restrictions in place will help us to achieve some sort of normalcy, and we all need to do our part. Vaccination is one of the steps toward achieving that,” said St. John's Baptist Church Pastor Shawn T. Wallace.
“Al Mirabella reached out to us to inquire about if we wanted to be a mobile vaccination site, and I told him emphatically yes,” Wallace said. “He put us in contact with Jessica Cohen of Union County, and she corresponded with Sylvia Hicks here at the church to set up the site.”
“I'm glad to get the one-shot vaccine," said Kimberly Nix, who was among the people who got the vaccine at St. John's.
At Scotch Plains Senior Housing on Lake Avenue, residents were able to get shots in the lobby. Members of the Rotary, including former Mayor Al Smith, who worked with Union County to get the vaccine to the facility, also brought lunches to the seniors.
Also on hand was Anthony Fasolas of the Scotch Plains-based Housing with Hope Foundation, who is working to set up J&J vaccinations for seniors at the Walmart on Route 22 in Watchung.
"I'm happy to get the J&J vaccine -- one shot, one and done," said Patricia Goeb, 68, a resident of Scotch Plains Senior Housing. "I wanted to get the vaccine. It will enable me to be more social. I have friends who got the shot and went on vacation. I want to get out and do things again."
"It's great how the community has come together to get the vaccine into people's arms. Clearly, our most vulnerable, our senior citizens needed the assistance we provided," said Mayor Josh Losardo.
"I'm pleased how the Rotary and the religious organization have worked with the county with transportation to get people their vaccines. I encourage everyone to be vaccinated as quickly as possible, so we can stem the spread of the virus."