Vaccination center administers 10,000th dose

Official says college location has ability to give 2,000 shots per day

MATTHEW SHINKLE/The Sun

Camden County reached an important milestone in the battle against COVID-19 at its vaccination site at Camden County College in Blackwood last week, administering it’s 10,000th dose of the vaccine since opening on Jan. 13.

“Our health department … led by a tremendous team, has led an effort to vaccine residents here at Camden County College that is second to none,” said Commissioner Director Louis Cappelli Jr.

“It’s a state-of-the-art facility and I have never received more emails and letters from constituents than I have over the past several weeks thanking us for the work that’s being done.”

The vaccination center, operated jointly by Jefferson Health – New Jersey and Cooper University Health Care, has continued to grow in its vaccination ability in recent weeks, as the county and health care providers continue to seek additional vaccines from the federal government.

The site was originally ready to vaccinate residents two weeks prior to opening, but the county did not receive vaccines from the federal government that they were expecting in time. The site originally began administering 150 vaccinations per day, but has since moved up to several hundred in supply.

At the 10,000 mark, Cappelli said the milestone should serve as motivation to continue the work being done at the location and, potentially, administer the next 10,000 doses even faster.

“This has been an unprecedented undertaking, but in just a few short weeks, we have been able to put 10,000 shots into arms, protecting our community and the most vulnerable members of our community,” said Cappelli. “We intend to far surpass this milestone in the months to come, but with this rollout only just beginning in earnest, we are extremely proud of what has been accomplished in such a short period of time.”

The site was closed Monday, Feb. 1, and Tuesday, Feb. 2, because of snow and dangerous road conditions, slowing down its progress. But Cappelli said all residents scheduled for the two days were able to be moved to Wednesday of the same week in an effort to keep things running smoothly.

He said the site’s full potential currently stands at 2,000 vaccinations a day, but that the county and its partners have nowhere near that many vaccines available at this point. They are, however, hopeful that more vaccines can be obtained in the coming weeks or months.

“When you schedule an appointment through the county, you will be given a date that is a few months out, but we are encouraging you to schedule no matter what,” Cappelli explained. “Depending on the quantity of the vaccine that we receive, you could be moved up, as other vaccine products come to the market and as current vaccine producers produce more. We anticipate the ability to move up folks that are scheduled months out.

“We are at the mercy of the state of New Jersey and the federal government as far as how many doses we can administer each day,” he added, “and that has been kind of a flexible number over the past couple weeks.”

Camden County has reported 36,829 positive COVID cases and 961 deaths as of Feb. 3. To schedule a vaccine appointment or for more information, visit https://www.camdencounty.com/vaccineregistration/ for more information.