Trenton Health Team has partnered with Smoke House Bar-B-Que and Henry J. Austin Health Center to provide FREE WALK-UP COVID-19 VACCINES during the restaurant’s First Friday on Front Street celebration, starting at 5 p.m. August 6, 2021.

Community health care providers have sounded an alarm over steeply rising COVID-19 infection rates in Mercer County and a growing risk of hospitalization and death for anyone unvaccinated. In Mercer County, COVID-19 is spreading faster now than any time this year and the county risk level is “High.”

“I’m really worried about how dangerous it is right now for everyone remaining unvaccinated,” warned Dr. Rachael Evans, Chief Medical Officer at Henry J. Austin Health Center. “Almost all of the new COVID infections are people without vaccines.”

Research shows vaccines can prevent hospitalization and death due to COVID-19. Everyone 12 or older who lives, works or studies in New Jersey is now eligible to be vaccinated. COVID-19 vaccines are FREE. You are not required to have health insurance. You are not required to be a US citizen. Visit THT’s COVID webpage for a list of other local vaccine events.

On Friday, HJAHC mobile health unit will provide the J&J vaccine, requiring one shot; as well as Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, which require two shots. Patrons receiving a first shot at First Friday can receive the second shot at HJAHC, 321 N. Warren Street.

“We need to get Trenton moving and back to work,” said Reggie Hallett, co-owner of Smoke House BBQ. “Smoke House is Trenton; the community supports us, and we want to do everything to support the community. The community is all we have and we need to help everyone.”

The Delta variant has recently surged in Mercer County, accounting for more than 80 percent of new cases in recent weeks, according to the New Jersey Department of Health. Data shows that people infected with Delta have higher viral loads—meaning more virus in their bodies—than with previous variants, and Delta spreads about twice as easily from one person to another than previous COVID-19 strains.

“We are so grateful for the business community’s help getting more Trenton residents protected against COVID-19,” said THT Executive Director Gregory Paulson. “Vaccines are our way out of this pandemic. Getting vaccinated is the best way to protect our families and our economy.”