State provides guidance on getting second vaccine dose

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Covid 19 Update Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes & The Board of County Commissioners

State provides guidance on getting second vaccine dose

COVID-19 vaccine image

State officials today offered reassurance to people who are concerned about getting their second COVID-19 vaccine dose in a timely manner. Everyone should receive two doses of vaccine in order to have maximum protection against the virus, Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli said.

The state Department of Health (NJDOH) provided the following guidance regarding second vaccine doses:

• If you made your first-dose appointment through the New Jersey Vaccine Scheduling System (NJVSS) at you will receive an email with the details of your automatically scheduled second-dose appointment by the end of day on Saturday, Jan. 30.
• If you received your first dose by booking directly with a vaccine clinic and did not use the NJVSS, you likely scheduled a second-dose appointment when you had your first appointment. If you did not receive a second-dose appointment at the time of receiving your first dose, you need to contact that vaccination site for assistance.
• If you received a first dose at the Gloucester County mega-site before the state scheduling system was available, you will be contacted directly by this site.
• Beginning Sunday, the state’s COVID-19 Vaccine Call Center – 855-568-0545 – will have operators available to assist anyone in need of a second-dose appointment. The call center is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week.

It is recommended that individuals get their second dose as close to the recommended date as possible:
• For Pfizer: 21 days after first dose
• For Moderna: 28 days after first dose

However, there is no known loss of efficacy of the second dose as long as an individual receives the second dose within six weeks of receiving their first dose, Persichilli said.

State officials reiterated that vaccine supply currently is very limited, but that everyone who wants to get vaccinated will be able to do so when supply is available.


Mercer County has opened a vaccination site at CURE Arena in Trenton, in partnership with Capital Health. An extremely limited number of doses are available at this time due to a supply shortage at the federal level. In order to receive a vaccination at CURE Arena, you must first register with the NJ Vaccine Scheduling System (NJVSS) at You will be notified when it is time for you to schedule an appointment.

If you need assistance with NJVSS, visit or call New Jersey’s toll-free COVID-19 vaccination hotline at 855-568-0545.

When you go to get vaccinated, remember to wear clothing that makes your upper arm accessible.

For information on vaccination eligibility, locations and more, visit the state’s vaccine website at

Current COVID-19 vaccination eligibility:
• Paid or unpaid individuals working in a health care setting
• Residents of long-term care facilities and other congregate settings
• Frontline first responders
• Individuals age 65 and older
• Individuals age 16 to 64 who have at least one medical condition, as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which increases the risk of severe illness from the virus.


Mercer County offers an at-home saliva test for COVID-19. The saliva test is available to County residents 14 years or older and anyone employed as a first responder or health care worker in Mercer County. Details on the at-home testing program can be found on the COVID-19 Testing page on the County website.

An updated list of COVID-19 testing locations in Mercer County can be found on the Trenton Health Team’s website:



The NJ Department of Health on Jan. 27 announced 3,950 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 (established through PCR testing), bringing the cumulative total of confirmed cases in the state to 606,492; and 107 additional confirmed COVID-19 deaths, bringing the cumulative total to 19,091 confirmed deaths and 2,129 probable deaths. Mercer County's 127 new confirmed cases bring its cumulative total to 23,155, with 765 confirmed COVID-19 deaths and 38 probable deaths. To view Mercer County data by municipality, please visit the Mercer County COVID-19 Dashboard at Please note that municipal data lags behind the state data and will update as information becomes available. Visit the New Jersey Department of Health's COVID-19 Dashboard  for more statewide information.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Jan. 26 announced 133,913 new positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the cumulative total of positive cases in the United States to 25,152,433; and 1,891 additional deaths, bringing the cumulative total to 419,827 with 55 locations (50 states, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, North Mariana Islands and U.S. Virgin Islands) reporting.


The NJ Poison Control Center and 211 have partnered with the State to provide information to the public on COVID-19:
Call: (general COVID-19 questions) 2-1-1 (24/7)
Call: (medical COVID-19 questions) 1-800-962-1253 (24/7)
Text: NJCOVID to 898-211 to receive alerts
Visit or for additional information


If you’re feeling stressed, anxious or depressed due to COVID-19, please call New Jersey's Mental Health Hotline at 866-202-HELP (4357) or visit for emotional support, guidance, and mental health referrals as needed. You also may contact:
• SAMHSA Disaster Distress Helpline: Call 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 (TTY 1-800-846-8517).
• Crisis Text Line: Text “NJ” to 741741
• Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-572- 7233
• Family Helpline: 1-800-843-5437
Listing of additional resources.

Heal NJ image

HEAL, NJ Health Care Workers COVID Hope & Healing Helpline, provides live COVID crisis counseling support, 7 days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. to all New Jersey health care workers, their families, and caregivers statewide, with emergency support available 24/7. Call 1-833-416-8733 or visit

Rise image

RISE, NJ First Responders COVID Hope & Healing Helpline, provides live COVID crisis counseling support, 7 days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. to all New Jersey first responders, including police, firefighters, EMS, National Guard, military and veterans, their families, and caregivers statewide, with emergency support available 24/7. Call 1-833-237-4325 or visit


Did you lose your job or have your hours reduced as a result of COVID-19? The State of New Jersey has created a resource page to help you connect to benefits and resources you need while you are trying to safely get back to work, as well as some tips for coping with the stress of losing a job: For a listing of employment opportunities, visit


For information on COVID-19/Novel Coronavirus and its impact on businesses – including resources, assistance and regulations -- visit the State of New Jersey business portal and the Mercer County Office of Economic Development’s COVID-19 Business Resources page.

Mask Up, Mercer!


How COVID-19 spreads:
COVID-19 spreads easily from person to person, mainly by the following routes:
• Between people who are in close contact with one another (within 6 feet).
• Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, breathes, sings or talks.
People who are infected but do not show symptoms can also spread the virus to others.

To ensure the lowest chance of obtaining the virus, and spreading the virus to others:
Wear a face mask that covers your nose and mouth in public settings and when around people who don’t live in your household. Masks help stop the spread of COVID-19 to others.
Practice social distancing -- stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arms’ length) from other people who are not from your household in both indoor and outdoor spaces.
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place or after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol.
Stay home if you are sick, except to get medical care.
• Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, or use the inside of your elbow.
• Avoid touching your nose, eyes and mouth with unwashed hands.
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily.

Symptoms can appear between 2-14 days after exposure, though some people may not have any symptoms while still being contagious. Symptoms can include: fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and diarrhea.

If you believe you've been infected and you are not in immediate danger, you should contact your doctor by phone. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 911, and notify the dispatch personnel that you may have COVID-19. COVID-19 Symptom Checker