There is great news about vaccination in West New York. But nobody wants to talk about it.
According to Tom DeGise, the county executive, the Holy Name Medical Center is directing thousands of doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to West New York.
Around 14,000 cans are expected to be distributed in multiple locations across the city, he said. But not much is known beyond that.
Details of when the cans will arrive, whether they will all arrive at once, and who is eligible are unclear. Elected officials in West New York and representatives from Bergen County-based Holy Name did not respond to repeated requests for comment for several days this week.
As of March 1, most of the doses Hudson County received in a week were 7,900, which it split between community sites and the county-operated site in South Kearny. This is the first known case of a community receiving vaccines from a private hospital in another county.
West New York has yet to open a municipal vaccination site, a move other cities across the county have taken to offer residents doses in their own neighborhood and, in some cases, in their own home.
The most immediate vaccination options for residents of West New York were the North Hudson Community Action Corp., local hospitals and pharmacies, and the county-run vaccination center, although the city of North Hudson is about a 30-minute drive from the South Kearny location.
Earlier this month, West New York Mayor Gabriel Rodriguez made a public plea for cans, saying the city had not received any. The county has only distributed doses of vaccine to municipal vaccination centers that have received state approval.
The district chief’s office has been informed of the doses of the Holy Name by the state, a spokesman said. The Ministry of Health did not respond to a request for comment on Friday.
Advertisements and job postings indicate that Holy Name is hiring itself to fill the vaccination effort in West New York.
West New York is among most of the Hispanic communities in northern Hudson County to suffer major losses during the coronavirus pandemic. Almost 13% of the population were infected last year and 202 residents died.