(MARLTON, N.J.) – On Saturday, Feb. 27, Virtua Health administered its 100,000th dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. The health system – South Jersey’s largest – first operated a vaccine clinic for health care workers in Voorhees, and now serves as the health care partner for the Burlington County COVID-19 Vaccine Mega-Site in Moorestown.
“Arriving at 100,000 doses is certainly a milestone, and we are just getting started,” said Dennis W. Pullin, FACHE, president and CEO of Virtua Health. “We are committed to providing this life-saving service to our community and will do what it takes to get the job done.”
Virtua began its vaccination campaign on Dec. 18, 2020, by establishing a Voorhees-based vaccine clinic for its own front-line employees and other health care workers in the region. In mid-January, Virtua joined forces with the State of New Jersey, Burlington County, and other partners to open the Burlington County COVID-19 Vaccine Mega-Site – one of six “mega-sites” across the state. The Burlington County Mega-Site accounts for more than 70 percent of the 100,000-plus vaccine doses administered by Virtua to date.
“When we first started vaccinating our workforce, we would average about 3,000 doses a week – that was the supply available to us at the time. Now, we regularly vaccinate more than 3,000 people a day at the mega-site – sometimes nearly 4,000 people a day,” said Reg Blaber, MD, MBA, FACC, Virtua executive vice president and chief clinical officer.
Vaccine quantities for the Burlington County Mega-Site have grown steadily since its opening. Virtua anticipates arriving at 200,000 vaccine doses in less than half the time it took to reach 100,000 doses.
The Burlington County Mega-Site adheres to the CDC’s and State of New Jersey’s phased approach to vaccine eligibility. Presently, those eligible to receive vaccination include health care personnel; long-term care residents and staff; first responders; and individuals at high risk, which includes those ages 65 and older. The State of New Jersey set a goal to vaccinate 70 percent of its adult population – or 4.7 million adults – within six months.
“Virtua began caring for patients with COVID-19 when it first arrived in our region, almost one year ago exactly. Now, through these vaccines, we will help guide our community to the pandemic’s end,” Pullin said. “We aren’t just providing vaccines, we are providing hope.”