On Inauguration Day, Wednesday, January 20, 2021, Trenton Mayor Reed Gusciora joined first responders at the Trenton Fire Headquarters to receive the long-awaited COVID-19 coronavirus vaccine.
“I’m anxious to get that vaccine just because I have family members that have health compromises,” Mayor Gusciora told New Jersey News Network (NJNN) moments before the shot. “I’m out in the public everyday and I think it’s important that the mayor continues to go out, so that’s why I’m getting the vaccine.”
Mayor Gusciora was one of many EMTs, firefighters and police officers who received the vaccine that afternoon. According to Dr. Philip Bonaparte, the medial director for the city of Trenton’s vaccine program, those receiving vaccines Wednesday were given doses of the Moderna vaccine and not Pfizer. That brand, according to Bonaparte, is easier to store than Pfizer, which requires special sub-zero refrigeration
“This is an exciting day for Trentonians, where we’re starting the first steps in eradicating COVID-19 from the city,” said Mayor Gusciora. “This is truly a partnership between the county and the state and the city.”
He continued, “We have nurses from The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) that are helping out and it’s really a collective effort [with] Dr. Bonaparte leadership providing the medical advise to the team. Without much, we could not have done this today.”
“Today is a huge day. It’s a historic day for us here in the city of Trenton,” said Dr. Bonaparte in agreement. “We believe that vaccinations save lives…vaccine doesn’t, but vaccination does.”
Bonaparte continued, “We believe that this is the way to go. All the studies have shown this is 95 percent effective.”
Although the city sees great hope for the COVID-19 vaccine as it becomes available to residents, Dr. Bonaparte reminds the community they must still remain safe and follow health protocols once vaccinated.
“Remember that it is two doses; the first one, the primary is given now. So we encourage people that even if you get vaccinated now, don’t think that you are automatically immune,” said Bonaparte. “You need to come back within four weeks, in this case, and you can get the second vaccine, and then wait at least one or two weeks afterward before you see true, long-term immunity.”
With the collaborative group of professionals running these COVID-19 vaccination locations, the city of Trenton is hopeful that the number of coronavirus will fall in the near future.
Mayor Gusciora said, “We’re really grateful for all the volunteers and all the nurses that came out here, and we really look forward to getting the residents and the importance of the residents signing up for the vaccine.”