Newark is 1 of 3 cities to get FEMA Community Vaccination Center

Facility, which will be 7 days a week starting March 31, will get doses of vaccine above and beyond N.J.’s normal allotment

A FEMA Community Vaccination Center — one with the capacity to vaccinate 6,000 people a day, seven days a week — is coming to Newark and will be housed on the campus of New Jersey Institute of Technology, Gov. Phil Murphy announced Friday.

The center is expected to begin vaccinations March 31.

Most importantly, the vaccines at the facility will be provided directly from the federal government, above and beyond the state’s regular allocations.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency vaccination center will target vulnerable communities. It will be supported by the federal government in partnership with the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management, the state Department of Health, Essex County and the city of Newark.

The FEMA center will be located inside the Naimoli Family Athletic and Recreational Facility.

NJIT officials said they specifically selected the Naimoli Center location for vaccine distribution in order to minimize the potential impact on the campus community. The center’s location means the school will be able to keep traffic to the facility on the perimeter of campus.

The duration of this effort has yet to be determined, but it is anticipated that, once fully open, the vaccination center will be operational seven days a week for at least two to three months.

Newark was one of three FEMA sites announced Friday, with the others being in Boston and Norfolk, Virginia.

“Ensuring vaccine equity by reaching deep into communities with higher risks of virus exposure and infection is among our highest priorities,” Murphy said. “By bringing a Federal Pilot Community Vaccination Center to New Jersey, we are one step closer to reaching our goal of vaccinating 4.7 million New Jersey adults in an efficient, effective and equitable manner.

“I am incredibly grateful to President (Joe) Biden and his administration for not only their partnership, but their leadership and bold action, to provide us with the vaccines and support necessary to vaccinate the public and end the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Newark Mayor Ras Baraka said he was thrilled and grateful to have the additional resources.

“As we’ve seen the detriment that COVID-19 has caused on our community and beyond, it’s extremely important for any of our residents to have access to the vaccine if they are ready to get one,” he said. “On behalf of the residents of the city of Newark, I am grateful for the Biden-Harris administration, FEMA and Gov. Murphy’s leadership in bringing more vaccines to us where we need them the most. This is our best scientific means for protection against COVID.”

Tom Fargione, the acting FEMA regional administrator, said the center represents a continued partnership between the state and FEMA.

“The opening of the Community Vaccination Center at the New Jersey Institute of Technology is the latest example of the strong collaboration between the state and FEMA,” he said. “At the direction of President Biden, the federal family across the nation is working closely with communities hardest hit by the virus. I emphatically encourage everyone who meets the current criteria to receive a vaccine to get one; not only to protect yourself, but to protect those you love. Together we will ensure every New Jerseyan who wants a vaccine can get one — equitable access is a top priority.”

For more information about eligibility, locations, and to preregister for a vaccination, click here.