NEWARK, NJ – The New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark is preparing to serve as a key hub for delivering nearly 6,000 doses of vaccine per day, announced Governor Phil Murphy.

The governor on Friday announced a partnership with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the school’s Naimoli Center on campus to create the largest vaccination center in the state. The site will open on March 31st.

“Ensuring vaccine equity through deep penetration into communities with higher virus exposure and infection is one of our top priorities,” Murphy said in a statement. “By bringing a Federal Pilot Community Vaccination Center to New Jersey, we are one step closer to our goal of vaccinating 4.7 million adults in New Jersey in an efficient, effective, and equitable manner.”

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As part of the initiative, it is expected that the vaccine doses administered at the site will be provided directly by the federal government and not contribute to the weekly allotments in the country.

As one of the hardest hit regions in the state by the pandemic, Newark has recorded more than 33,000 confirmed positive COVID cases and more than 900 COVID deaths.

In line with other local efforts to vaccinate residents, city officials recently launched the Newark Equitable Vaccine Initiative, the first community-run campaign to improve access and equity in the distribution of vaccines in the city.

The initiative is part of a national pilot program led by the Rockefeller Foundation model of increasing vaccine equity and accessibility for black and brown Americans. Newark was one of seven cities in the country selected for the program.

“Less than 5% of the people in Newark are fully vaccinated,” Newark Mayor Ras Baraka said Tuesday. “We’re very lagging and a lot has to do with access. So it’s important that we do something like this to give people access to vaccination, especially in areas where people are more likely to die from the coronavirus.”

How long the center will remain open is unknown. However, the NJIT administration expects the site to be operational seven days a week for at least two to three months.

“NJIT specifically selected the location of the Naimoli vaccine distribution center to minimize the potential impact on our campus community by maintaining traffic to the vaccine center on the edge of campus,” the administration said in a statement. “NJIT also has procedures and protocols in place to prevent the vaccination center operations from encroaching on most of our campus or from significantly interfering with daily life at NJIT.”

Essex County currently operates five vaccination centers. The locations and communities served at each location are as follows:

  • Essex County College, 303 University Ave., Newark (gym entrance on West Market Street): Newark, Belleville, East Orange, Irvington, and Orange.

  • Donald M. Payne, Senior School of Technology, Essex County, 498-544 West Market Street, Newark: Newark, East Orange, Irvington, and Orange.

  • Former Kmart Building, 235 Prospect Ave., West Orange: West Orange, Cedar Grove, Essex Fells, Montclair, Newark, Nutley and Verona.

  • Livingston Mall, former Sears building, 112 Eisenhower Parkway, Livingston (entrance is in the back): Livingston, Belleville, Maplewood, Millburn, Newark, Orange and South Orange.

  • West Caldwell School of Technology in Essex County, 620 Passaic Ave., West Caldwell: West Caldwell, Bloomfield, Caldwell, Fairfield, Glen Ridge, Newark, North Caldwell and Roseland.

Newark residents can schedule an appointment at any of the five locations due to the city’s population.

Residents can make appointments at www.EssexCOVID.org or by calling 973-877-8456. Vaccinations are given in two doses. Residents who make reservations for vaccination will be given two appointments.