The County of Mercer and Penn Medicine Princeton Health are partnering to expand the availability of COVID-19 vaccination opportunities in Mercer County, announced Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes. “This public-private partnership will provide convenient and free vaccinations to our residents, and we are excited to have Princeton Health come onboard to help us meet the needs of the community during this pandemic,” said Hughes.

Beginning May 6, Princeton Health will manage the second of Mercer County’s fixed-base vaccination sites, located at the lounge at Mercer County Park’s rink. In addition, Princeton Health will provide staff to operate Mercer County’s new mobile unit, which will schedule community-based vaccination clinics at locations throughout the county to vaccinate underserved and hard-to-reach populations, such as the elderly or those without transportation. The other vaccination clinic, in collaboration with Capital Health, is at CURE Arena in the City of Trenton.

“COVID-19 is the greatest public health challenge in our lifetime, and vaccinating as many members of our community as possible is a crucial step forward,” said Princeton Health CEO James Demetriades. “We are excited to work with Mercer County to build on our efforts to date, which have included administering more than 25,000 vaccines to community members and our staff.  This initiative has included providing pop-up clinics at more than a dozen locations across Mercer, Middlesex and Somerset counties, where we administered 2,300 vaccines to educators and school employees.”

The next phase of the community-based vaccination program will include deploying the new mobile unit to locations on the eastern side of Mercer County, where there is a large older adult population and community diversity. “Among my priorities is ensuring equitable access to vaccinations, and just as FEMA was able to target high-need communities in Trenton, which was hit particularly hard by the virus, we must ensure that all residents have ease of access and availability to the vaccine. We are grateful to our newest health partner, Penn Medicine Princeton Health, for this important collaboration,” said Hughes

For the past couple of months, Mercer County has operated a COVID-19 vaccination clinic at the gymnasium of Mercer County Community College’s West Windsor Campus in conjunction with the college and municipal health departments. The site has relied heavily on MCCC nursing students and volunteers to administer vaccine to residents. With nursing students preparing to leave at the end of the spring semester in early May, the County is transitioning its MCCC vaccination site to the lounge area in the skating center, which is in proximity to the previous site, is a county-owned venue, and has space and parking convenient for elderly residents and individuals with disabilities.

At the fixed sites, vaccination appointments will be required and individuals must be registered in the New Jersey Vaccination Scheduling System (NJVSS). Go to https://covidvaccine.nj.gov to register for a vaccine appointment.