VNACJ Community Health Center reaches milestone: 100,000th COVID-19 vaccine

A major milestone in the fight to protect our local communities against COVID-19 was recently reached when the Visiting Nurse Association of Central Jersey Community Health Center administered its 100,000th vaccine.

CHC nurse Rita Jacoby administered the 100,000th COVID-19 vaccine to Mariangeli Morales of Jackson at the Freehold CHC, located at 597 Park Ave. in Freehold.

“This achievement symbolizes more than just the vaccine milestone. It represents the success of more than two years of dedicated outreach and educational efforts by our physicians, nurses and staff, who have contributed more than 65,000 hours to increase vaccination awareness and accessibility to residents across Monmouth County,” said Christopher Rinn, CEO of VNACJ CHC.

VNACJ CHC administered its first COVID-19 vaccine on Dec. 28, 2020, at the Asbury Park Community Health Center, followed by the Red Bank and Freehold facilities that same day. Vaccination and testing then expanded to all four CHC sites and five additional vaccination centers.

In an effort to reach those who couldn’t arrange transportation to the Community Health Centers’ locations, CHC partnered with local officials and the NJ EMS Task Force in 2021 to facilitate a mobile vaccination program that ran through May 2021 and administered more than 61,000 vaccinations at the Asbury Park Senior Center, Bell Works in Holmdel and the Red Bank YMCA.

CHC also participated in Boost NJ Day and partnered with many community organizations to encourage vaccination, including Autism NJ, Interfaith Neighbors, the city of Asbury Park, OceanFirst Bank, Habitat for Humanity, the Affordable Housing Alliance and many school municipalities throughout Monmouth County.

The VNA Health Group also provided outreach to vulnerable communities through mobile pop-up sites that resulted in over 16,800 additional vaccinations throughout Middlesex, Monmouth and Ocean counties, and the VNAHG home care team provided almost 1,700 home care vaccinations.

“Fortunately, the number of COVID-19 cases is slowing, but we must remain vigilant,” said Dr. Terry Shlimbaum, chief medical officer of VNACJ CHC. “Our community health centers are committed to continuing to provide vaccinations and testing services for as long as necessary to help residents protect themselves against the virus.”