LAKEWOOD, NJ – Congressman Chris Smith has announced that vaccine distribution locations in Lakewood Township will bypass the Murphy administration and begin getting their vaccinations directly from the federal government.
The announcement came as Governor Phil Murphy visited the township last week.
Smith applauded the announcement that the federal government is bolstering the supply of COVID-19 vaccines at two Lakewood federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) to help meet the urgent and high demand for vaccinations.
“I greatly welcome this desperately needed federal support to increase the availability of vaccines to Lakewood residents and those in the surrounding communities,” said Rep. Smith.
The Center for Health, Education, Medicine, and Dentistry (CHEMED) and Ocean Health Initiatives (OHI) are slated to receive a direct and additional allocation of vaccines from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to support their current vaccine supply from the State of New Jersey.
“We thank the federal government in recognizing our work to date and including CHEMED in the federal vaccine allocation program,” said Dr. Dovid Friedman, the Chief Executive Officer of CHEMED. “We look forward to receiving vaccines from both the federal government and working with our partners at the state in continuing to administer vaccines effectively.”
CHEMED and OHI are among 700 health centers nationwide that will receive vaccines under HRSA’s expanded Health Center COVID-19 Vaccine Program designed to reach communities that have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic. Smith helped both health centers become FQHCs when they initially sought the designation, enabling them to qualify for much-needed federal support that continues to this day.
At the publicly run vaccination site at Toms River High School North, county officials were asked by the Murphy administration to give back 400 doses. This comes as Ocean County’s monthly supply was cut by 40% in January and redistributed to Democrat-controlled areas of the state.
“While nearly 20 percent of Ocean County residents have received at least one dose of the COVID vaccine, we must do more to expedite the vaccination process to help put an end to the tremendous suffering caused by this pandemic,” Smith continued. “This additional support from the federal government will help New Jersey meet the urgent demand for vaccines in a more timely manner and get them to the people who need it as quickly as possible.”
Appointments at the Lakewood sites are available to all residents.