COVID-19 Testing LocationsIf you are in need of a COVID test and have mild to moderate symptoms, we encourage you to visit a local pharmacy or one of our urgent care centers. The emergency room should not be your primary destination if you are looking for a COVID test. You should only visit the emergency room if you experience symptoms that warrant immediate medical attention, such as*:
- Trouble breathing
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- New confusion or inability to arouse
- Bluish lips or face
You also can schedule a testing appointment by calling (551) 946-7250. Appointments are available at the following locations:
- Hackensack University Medical Center 40 Prospect Avenue, Hackensack, NJ 07601
- JFK University Medical Center 80 James St., Edison, NJ 08820 (Lot Q)
- Family Health Center 1828 W Lake Ave., Neptune City, NJ 07753
- School of Medicine 123 Metro Boulevard, Nutley NJ 07110
- Jersey Shore 1945 NJ-33, Neptune City, NJ 07753 (Booker Pavilion)
- Former Ocean Club 700 S Main St, West Creek, NJ 08092
- Former Tilton Fitness 1686 NJ-88, Brick Township, NJ 08724
Covid-19 Vaccination AppointmentsBook your appointment now. Schedule Now Appointments are strongly encouraged. All brands of vaccines are offered.
- Booster doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine are available for the following groups, at least five months after completion of the primary series:
- Anyone 12 years of age and older
- Children 5 years and older who are moderately or severely immunocompromised can get a third dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine 28 days following their second dose
- Booster doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine are available for adults 18 years and older, five months after completion of the primary series.
- The Moderna booster shot is a half dose of the same vaccine already given.
- Adults 18 years and older
- The Moderna booster shot will be a half dose of the same vaccine already given.
- Booster shots of the J&J single-dose vaccine are available for anyone 18 years and older who received the J&J vaccine, as early as two months after the first dose.
- The booster is recommended for anyone 18 and older who received the J & J vaccine as early as two months after the first dose.
- Adults can get COVID-19 vaccine booster shots that are different from your initial doses. However, Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna (mRNA COVID-19 vaccines) are preferred in most situations.
- 12–17 year olds can only get the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine booster.
- Read more about the “mix-and-match” approach.
Johnson & Johnson
This announcement followed the release of a study from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which showed that “mixing and matching” COVID-19 vaccines was both safe and effective.
New Pediatric COVID-19 Vaccine FAQs
While COVID-19 generally causes mild illness in children, some children do develop more severe illness such as pneumonia. After the infection, some will get the Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) that requires hospitalization. Others may experience “long COVID” with symptoms that last for months, including extreme fatigue, “brain fog”, breathing problems and body aches. MIS-C and “long COVID” can happen after all types of COVID-19 illness, including after mild illness or no symptoms.
The vaccine can prevent infection and should decrease the risk of all complications from COVID-19.
The COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by Pfizer and BioNTech is to be given in two, 10-microgram (mcg) doses administered 21 days apart. The dose for adults and youth 12 years and older is 30-mcg, which is three times the dose for younger children.
Generally, yes. However, there may be instances when you and your child’s physician make a different determination. Vaccination, as well as physical distancing, masking, and hand hygiene help prevent COVID-19 infection and allow children to remain involved in their regular activities. Getting your child vaccinated also may help reduce the spread of the virus, including to those at risk of more severe illness.
Yes, extra protection provided by the vaccine wanes over time and a booster dose reinvigorates your child’s body’s immune response.
Pfizer COVID-19 boosters are authorized for children ages 12 to 17 years old.
Yes, according to data, the booster shot has been tested and is safe for children.
The FDA reviewed safety data from a study of more than 6,300 children ages 12 to 15 who received a booster dose in Israel, finding no new safety concerns for a booster in this population. No new cases of myocarditis or pericarditis were reported.
There were also no new safety concerns for over 4.1 million individuals age 16 and older who received the booster in Israel.
Third dose is recommended for children ages 5 years and older who are moderately or severely immunocompromised. These children can get the additional dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at least 28 days following their second dose.
A booster dose is given months after the initial series in order to increase your immunity against the virus, as levels of antibodies decline over time.
Generally speaking, research has shown that vaccinated children experience the same side effects as adults, including:
- temporary pain at the injection site
- and less commonly - fever, chills, nausea and joint pain.
Side effects typically last one to three days, and may be more likely after the second dose. Like with adults, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine should not be given to anyone with a history of severe allergic reaction to any component of the vaccine.
The CDC recommends vaccination even if you already had the COVID-19 infection because experts do not yet know how long you are protected from getting sick again after recovering from COVID-19. If your child has not experienced recent COVID-19 related symptoms, discuss with their physician when is the best time to schedule the COVID-19 vaccine.
If your child continues to experience COVID-19 symptoms, even after recovery, consider making an appointment with the Hackensack Meridian Children’s Health - Pediatric COVID-19 Recovery Center, which can be reached by email PedsCOVIDRecovery@hmhn.org, or calling 551-996-2911.
Though long-term side effects are unknown at this time, they are unlikely to occur. Hundreds of millions of doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been given so far and there has not been any indication of any long-term side effects.
The vaccination information we have for children 5 to 11 years old is the same as the information that allowed for authorization for youths 12 to 15 years old. You should talk to your pediatrician if you have questions and concerns.
COVID-19 Vaccine FAQs
- If you are 12-17 years old and have an appointment, you must have your parents or legal guardian with you.
- Don’t forget to eat and drink prior to your vaccine. There’s no need to fast.
- We send email confirmations when appointments are made.
- Second doses are scheduled at the time of your first visit. Remember to bring your vaccine card so we can update it.
- You don’t need to arrive early. Just arrive a few minutes early.
- You must wear a mask and observe social distancing guidelines.
- You will be registered, then receive your vaccine and then observed for 15 minutes for any side effects.
- People should talk to their healthcare provider about their medical condition, and whether getting an additional dose is appropriate for them.
- Get your booster shot if you are eligible.
- Identification like a driver’s license, passport, student ID or state ID or utility bill or lease agreement to demonstrate you live, work or study in New Jersey.
- Bring your vaccination card if you are receiving your second dose or booster dose.
- If you are receiving a third dose of Pfizer or Moderna, please bring your vaccination card.
- If you have insurance, bring your insurance card. You will not be charged for the vaccine. It is free. Your insurance may be billed to defray the costs of paying staff to administer the vaccine, but you will not have an out-of-pocket expense.
- For those covered by a Medicare Advantage plan, please bring your Medicare Coverage ID Card since COVID -19 vaccines are covered by traditional Medicare. If you do not have a traditional Medicare Card, please be able to provide your Social Security Number when you come in for your vaccine.
With billions of doses administered across the globe, there is a growing body of real-world evidence that the COVID-19 vaccines are both safe and effective. Importantly, they are very effective against preventing someone from getting seriously ill, requiring hospitalization or dying from COVID-19. Studies completed to date include:
- mRNA vaccines are 94% effective at preventing symptomatic COVID-19 among health care personnel - Learn more
- Vaccination reduced the risk for COVID-19 hospitalization among adults 65+ by 94% - Learn more
- mRNA vaccines are highly effective in real-world conditions; those fully vaccinated 90% less likely to get infected - Learn more
- There are no increased risks of severe side effects or adverse pregnancy outcomes from the mrRNA vaccines - Learn more
- Among those fully vaccinated in New Jersey, COVID-19 vaccines are 99.92% effective at preventing COVID-19 infection, 99.998% effective against hospitalization and 99.9993% effective against COVID-19 related deaths - Learn more
- A study by HMH CDI found just 138 COVID-19 positive cases among 26,000 vaccinated health care workers. None became seriously ill - Learn more
- Nationally, mRNA vaccines reduce the risk of COVID infection by 91% for the fully vaccinated - Learn more
|Age group||5 years and older||18 years and older||18 years and older|
|Number of required shots||2||2||1|
|Time interval between the first and second shot||19-22 days||26-30 days||Second shot not needed|
|Effectiveness in U.S. clinical trials||95%||94.1%||72%|
|Common side effects||injection site pain, fatigue, headache, muscle pain, and joint pain.||injection site pain, fatigue, headache, muscle pain, and joint pain.||injection site pain, headache, fatigue, muscle aches, nausea and fever.|
|Underlying medical conditions||mRNA COVID-19 vaccines may be administered to persons with underlying medical conditions||mRNA COVID-19 vaccines may be administered to persons with underlying medical conditions||viral vector COVID-19 vaccines may be administered to persons with underlying medical conditions|
Pfizer’s vaccine requires two shots in the vaccine series. The second shot –is given 19-22 days - after the first one.
Moderna’s vaccine also requires two shots in the vaccine series. The second shot is given – 26-30 days – after the first one. If you receive the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, you will be asked to schedule your appointment for your second shot at your first appointment.
J&J Janssen’s vaccine only requires one dose.
In addition, based on recommendations from the CDC and the New Jersey Department of Health:
- Pfizer - booster doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine are available for the following groups, five months after completion of the primary series:
- Anyone 12 years of age or older
- Anyone 12 years of age or older
- Moderna - Booster doses of the Moderna vaccine are now available for the following groups, five months after completion of the primary series:
- Adults 18 years and older
- Please note, the booster shot will be a half dose of the same vaccine already given.
- Johnson & Johnson - Booster shots of the J & J single-dose vaccine are now available as early as two months after the first dose of J&J for anyone 18 and older.
Note, based on the recommendations of the FDA, CDC and NJDOH, you can get COVID-19 vaccine booster shots that are different from your initial doses.
Delay in completing the vaccine series means that you will likely remain vulnerable to COVID-19 infection. You will not get the boost in immunity until you receive the second shot. However, you should reschedule your second dose at the earliest opportunity (but no doses need to be repeated).
Hackensack Meridian Health administers all three vaccine types (Pfizer, Moderna and J&J Janssen) depending on availability of supply. All three vaccines are very effective against preventing symptomatic or severe COVID infections.
We are happy to report that with more than 25,000 people vaccinated as of Jan. 15, there has been no reports of serious side effects.
If you experience symptoms where you got the shot:
- Apply a clean, cool, wet washcloth over the area.
- Use or exercise your arm.
You may also experience other common symptoms related to the vaccine. This includes:
- Muscle pain
- Joint pain
If you have only these symptoms and NO FEVER, take acetaminophen (Tylenol) or a non- steroidal (like ibuprofen, Motrin or Advil). Your symptoms will typically improve in 24-48 hours. If they do not improve or you have any questions or concerns, contact your health care provider.
The CDC and FDA have a robust safety monitoring system in place as public vaccination begins. Through v-safe, use your smartphone to tell CDC about any side effects after getting the COVID- 19 vaccine. You will also get reminders for your second dose. Learn more here: www.cdc.gov/vsafe.
You are also encouraged to report possible side effects to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), https://vaers.hhs.gov/reportevent.html.
If you experience common side effects from the vaccine, it still is necessary to receive the second dose for the vaccine to be effective.
If you have had a COVID-19 infection in the past, you can get the vaccine after recovering from COVID-19 and after you meet criteria to discontinue isolation.There is no need to wait 90 days. Vaccination will be offered regardless of history of prior symptomatic or asymptomatic COVID-19 infection. Data from clinical trials suggest vaccination is safe and likely effective in those with a history of COVID-19 infection.
If you are currently infected with COVID-19, you should wait to get vaccinated until after your illness has resolved and after you meet criteria to discontinue isolation. There is no need to wait 90 days. Vaccination will be offered regardless of history of prior symptomatic or asymptomatic COVID-19 infection. Data from clinical trials suggest vaccination is safe and likely effective in those with a history of COVID-19 infection. Vaccination should be deferred until the quarantine period has ended to avoid exposing health care personnel or others during the vaccination visit.
If you were treated for COVID-19 symptoms with monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma, you should wait 90 days before getting a COVID-19 vaccine.
No. Claims linking COVID-19 vaccines to infertility are unfounded and there is no evidence that any vaccines impact menstrual cycles or future fertility in women or men. In alignment with leading specialists, including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine, and the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, vaccination is recommended for all eligible people who may be considering future pregnancy - as well as women actively trying to conceive or undergoing fertility treatment.
- had a severe allergic reaction after a previous dose of this vaccine;
- had a severe allergic reaction to any ingredient of the vaccine
CDC recommends everyone ages 5 and older get a COVID-19 vaccine to help protect against COVID-19.
- Approved for those 5 years+
- Booster approved for 12 years+
- Third dose approved for children 5 years and older who are moderately to severely immunocompromised
- Approved for those 18 years+
- Booster approved for 18 years+
- Approved for those 18 years+
- Booster approved for 18 years+
• mRNA: Many vaccines work by putting inactivated or weakened germs into our bodies that trigger an immune response and build natural antibodies against the virus. mRNA vaccines are different. mRNA technology teaches our cells how to make a protein that prevents infection.
• Viral vector: Viral vector vaccines use inactivated or weakened virus to trigger an immune response and build natural antibodies against the virus. Note: The J&J vaccine does not contain any live COVID virus.
Hackensack Meridian Health recommends the following resources for questions and more information about the COVID-19 vaccine:
- Don't forget to eat and drink prior to your vaccine. There's no need to fast.
- Per the CDC, it is not recommended you take over-the-counter medicine – such as ibuprofen, aspirin or acetaminophen – before vaccination for the purpose of trying to prevent vaccine-related side effects.
- Per the CDC, it is also not recommended to take antihistamines before getting a COVID-19 vaccine to try to prevent allergic reactions.
- If you have any questions about medications, please speak with your healthcare provider.
The CDC and FDA made the recommendation to resume use of the J&J COVID-19 vaccine following a thorough review of available data that shows the vaccine’s known and potential benefits outweigh the risk of the potential rare blood clotting disorder that led to the pause.
For two weeks after receiving the vaccine, you should be on the lookout for the following possible symptoms:
- Shortness of breath,
- Chest pain,
- Leg swelling,
- Persistent abdominal pain,
- Severe or persistent headaches or blurred vision,
- Easy bruising or tiny blood spots under the skin beyond the site of the injection.
If you develop one or more of these symptoms after receiving the J&J COVID-19 vaccine, seek medical care immediately.
- Why was there a temporary pause in the administration of the J&J COVID-19 vaccine?
COVID-19 vaccines have undergone and continue to undergo what the CDC describes as the most intensive safety monitoring in U.S. history. The early detection and reporting of the rare adverse events involving blood clots with low platelets and the subsequent decision to temporarily pause administration of the J&J vaccine serve to illustrate that the safety monitoring process is working.
Per the CDC, as of April 23, 2021, more than 8 million doses of the J&J COVID-19 vaccine had been given in the United States; experts reviewing safety reports for this vaccine found 15 reports of women who got this vaccine and later developed the serious condition that involves blood clots with low platelets.
The Pfizer-BioNTech pediatric COVID-19 vaccine for children ages five and older is now available. The Pfizer vaccine is the only pediatric COVID-19 vaccine that has been authorized for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration at this time after thorough clinical trials proved its safety and effectiveness.