July 19, 2024
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July 19, 2024
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Moderna Vaccine Administered at St. Mary’s General Hospital

(Courtesy of SMGH) Last week, St. Mary’s General Hospital received the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine and began vaccinating its frontline employees and physicians who work for the hospital. The vaccine arrived with much relief and excitement as the hospital was hit hard during the first wave in the spring.

The next question, of course, is when and where can I get the vaccine and what to expect. Note: The CDC is the most reliable authority on the vaccines and has a wealth of information at their site.1

“Per DOH regulations, all hospitals operate as a closed POD [point of dispensing] for the first four weeks that the vaccines are made available,” said Ed Condit, CEO. “We are responsible for vaccinating all our paid and unpaid personnel (employees and medical staff) during that time. After that we plan on becoming a vaccination site for the public, using the Moderna vaccine. The FQHC2 will be responsible to vaccinate first responders, and they should check with the North Hudson Clinic3.”

Is the vaccine safe for everybody?

The FDA has authorized the emergency use of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine in individuals 18 years of age and older. You will be given two shots in a muscle, one month apart. You should not get the vaccine if you had a severe allergic reaction after a previous dose of this vaccine or had a severe allergic reaction to any ingredient of this vaccine.4

The CDC recommends that people with a history of severe allergic reactions not related to vaccines or injectable medications—such as allergies to food, pet, venom, environmental or latex— still get vaccinated. Ask your physician.

What to expect after getting the vaccine.5

The vaccine will help protect you from getting COVID-19, but it may not protect you until a week or two after the second shot. You may have some side effects, which are normal signs that your body is building protection. These side effects may affect your ability to do daily activities, but they should go away in a few days. Common side effects on the arm where you got the shot: pain and swelling. Throughout the rest of your body: fever, chills, tiredness, headache.

There is a remote chance that the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine could cause a severe allergic reaction, which would usually occur within a few minutes to one hour after getting a dose of the vaccine. For this reason, your vaccination provider may ask you to stay at the place where you received your vaccine for monitoring after vaccination. Signs of a severe allergic reaction can include difficulty breathing, swelling of your face and throat, fast heartbeat, bad rash all over your body and/or dizziness and weakness. If you experience a severe allergic reaction, call Hatzolah, or go to the nearest hospital.

Older adults are at a higher risk.

“Clifton Mayor Jim Anzaldi sends me weekly COVID-19 updates for Clifton,” said George Matyjewicz, PhD, community liaison at St. Mary’s General Hospital. “I then analyze the statistics and send to the Passaic-Clifton community. The stats have consistently shown that 78% of the cases affect those under 60, whereas 89% of the deaths are over 60! And the CDC reports that eight out of 10 COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. have been in adults 65 and older!6 This chart shows that compared to younger adults, older adults are more likely to require hospitalization if they get COVID-19 and are more prone to death!”

“Let’s not get complacent now that vaccines and monoclonal antibodies are available,” said Matyjewicz. “We all need to continue practicing safe precautions to get through this pandemic. While you as a person under 65 may survive this crisis, keep in mind that as a carrier you may be killing those over 65!”

Stopping a pandemic requires using all the tools available. Vaccines work with your immune system so your body will be ready to fight the virus if you are exposed. Other steps, like masks and social distancing, help reduce your chance of being exposed to the virus or spreading it to others. Together, COVID-19 vaccination and following CDC’s recommendations to protect yourself and others will offer the best protection from COVID-197.

St. Mary’s General Hospital—nationally recognized, locally preferred among the top hospitals in America for health, quality and patient safety! The hospital has over 550 physicians and 1,200 employees, with every staff member committed to providing respectful, personalized, high-quality care—to satisfy patients’ needs and exceed their expectations. St. Mary’s General is a proud member of Prime Healthcare, which has more Patient Safety Excellence Awards for five consecutive years (2016-2020) than any other health system in the country including a “Top 15 Healthcare System” by Truven Health Analytics. To learn more about St. Mary’s General Hospital visit https://www.smh-nj.com/ or Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/StMarysGeneral.

Rate ratios compared to 18-29 year olds

Age Group



18-29 years

Comparison Group

Comparison Group

30-39 years

2x higher

4x higher

40-49 years

3x higher

10x higher

50-64 years

4x higher

30x higher

65-74 years

5x higher

90x higher

75-84 years

8x higher

220x higher

85+ years

13x higher

630x higher

For more information, please contact George Matyjewicz, PhD, community liaison, at [email protected].

1 https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/

2 Federally Qualified Health Centers for Passaic County: https://healthapps.state.nj.us/fhs/cphc/cphcList.aspx

3 North Hudson Community Action Corporation Health Center, 220 Passaic St., Passaic, NJ 07055 – (201) 210-0200 https://nhcac.org/

4 The ingredients include: messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA), lipids (SM-102, polyethylene glycol [PEG] 2000 dimyristoyl glycerol [DMG], cholesterol, and 1,2-distearoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine [DSPC]), tromethamine, tromethamine hydrochloride, acetic acid, sodium acetate, and sucrose

5 https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/expect/after.html

6 https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/older-adults.html

7 https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/prevention.html

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