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MCHD and VNACJ CHC to handle surge of vaccination requests
FREEHOLD, NJ – The Monmouth County Health Department (MCHD) is partnering with the Visiting Nurse Association of Central Jersey Community Health Center (VNACJ CHC) to provide immunizations to County residents during the month of August at multiple health locations in Monmouth County.
“Every August, the Health Department gets inundated with phone calls from parents about scheduling vaccination appointments for their children before the school year begins,” said Freeholder Susan M. Kiley, liaison to MCHD and the Department of Human Services. “The County is thrilled to know that parents are preparing accordingly and adding vaccinations to their back-to-school checklists. Through the County’s partnership with the Visiting Nurse Association, we hope to protect children from vaccine preventable diseases so they have a healthy, successful school year.”
For County residents living in MCHD Member Towns, childhood immunizations are provided free to under insured/uninsured children from birth to 18 years old when accompanied by a parent or guardian. With parental permission, the child/children will be entered into a Statewide immunization registry, which encourages timely and age appropriate vaccinations.
The MCHD vaccination clinic, located at 50 East Main St., Freehold, is from 3 to 6 p.m. on Thursday, August 8 and Thursday, August 22 by appointment only. To schedule an immunization, call MCHD at 732-431-7456.
In addition to MCHD, the clinic located at Monmouth County Human Services, 3000 Kozloski Road, Freehold, is open every Monday, except holidays, from 9 to 11:30 a.m. and 1 to 3:30 p.m. by appointment only. To schedule an immunization at Human Services, call 732-431-7456.
“The vaccination clinics provided by the Monmouth County Health Department ensure our most vulnerable populations in Monmouth County are protected against vaccine preventable diseases such as measles, mumps and rubella,” said Christopher P. Merkel, County Public Health Coordinator. “Vaccines are the safest and most effective way to prevent illnesses and deaths associated with those diseases that negatively affect our children in Monmouth County. Our collaborative relationship with agencies like the Visiting Nurses Association provides a wider coverage of places our residents can go for State mandated vaccinations.”
Due to the influx of vaccination requests, the VNACJ CHC will be aiding MCHD by providing vaccinations to residents who are unable to visit MCHD and Human Services clinics. During surges of vaccination appointment requests, MCHD will direct residents to VNACJ CHC locations for appointments. Locations include Asbury Park, Freehold, Keyport and Red Bank.
“The importance of timely immunizations, especially as we note numerous outbreaks in our communities cannot be understated,” said Christopher Rinn, CEO of VNACJ. “The overwhelming scientific evidence shows that vaccines are among the most effective and safest interventions to both prevent individual illness and protect public health. The VNACJ Community Health Center has a long-standing history of working with our community partners, such as the Monmouth County Health Department, to protect the public health and this immunization initiative with Monmouth County is another example of such work.”
According to the Human Service Needs Assessment for Monmouth County, which examined the needs of County residents, Monmouth County ranked 17th for the lowest vaccination rate in the State. Despite falling below the State average for fully vaccinated kindergartners, the County is responding through Monmouth ACTS (Assisting Community Through Services) and offering free vaccination clinics for under insured/uninsured County residents. Through the MCHD partnership with VNACJ CHC, Monmouth ACTS is able to promote and enhance the access to human services, such as free vaccines, for County residents.
“Having your child vaccinated is not only extremely important to their overall health, but also to the well-being of their peers, family and friends,” said Freeholder Director Thomas A. Arnone. “I commend Freeholder Kiley, the County Health Department and VNACJ Community Health Center partnership as well as all those involved with the Monmouth ACTS initiative for their proactive efforts in protecting children from vaccine preventable diseases.”
Visiting Nurse Association of Central Jersey Community Health Center, Inc. (VNACJ CHC), a Federally Qualified Health Center, has provided comprehensive primary and preventive health care for infants, children and adults of Monmouth County for more than 24 years. The VNACJ CHC’s are conveniently located in Asbury Park, Keyport and Red Bank and soon will open in Freehold. In 2017, staff provided more than 29,099 visits to more than 9,232 patients. For more information about VNACJ CHC, visit www.vnachc.org.