Although Essex County has announced that it intends to close its COVID-19 vaccination site, the Montclair Health Department says it will continue to offer coronavirus shots and the first two boosters. Distribution plans for the recently approved third booster have yet to be determined.

In a 13-1 vote on Thursday, Sept.1, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended the new COVID-19 “updated boosters” for Americans this fall.

In Montclair, the Health Department said it was awaiting further information from the New Jersey Department of Health.

Meanwhile, the Montclair Health Department will continue to offer the traditional COVID-19 vaccines and boosters on the first and the third Tuesdays of the month between 9 a.m. and 12 p.m. The township offers the Moderna vaccine for residents 18 years or older at 205 Claremont Avenue, floor 3, by appointment only.

On Tuesday, Aug. 23, in a video information session on monkeypox, Essex County announced that it will close its last COVID-19 vaccination site on Oct. 29. 

“We've done over 600,000 doses, over 300,000 tests, and given out over three and a half million meals through this whole thing in the last two and a half years, and I couldn't be more proud of my team,” County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo said in the virtual meeting. “Our last site will be closing on October 29.” 

Neither Essex County nor the Montclair Health Department have indicated whether they will offer the new boosters, which are expected to be rolled out in the next week to 10 days.

The authorized bivalent COVID-19 vaccines, or updated boosters, “include an mRNA component of the original strain to provide an immune response that is broadly protective against COVID-19 and an mRNA component in common between the omicron variant BA.4 and BA.5 lineages to provide better protection against COVID-19 caused by the omicron variant,” according to the Food & Drug Administration

“The updated COVID-19 boosters are formulated to better protect against the most recently circulating COVID-19 variant,” said Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the CDC. “They can help restore protection that has waned since previous vaccination and were designed to provide broader protection against newer variants. This recommendation followed a comprehensive scientific evaluation and robust scientific discussion. If you are eligible, there is no bad time to get your COVID-19 booster and I strongly encourage you to receive it.”

Montclair residents needing to schedule an appointment for a COVID-19 vaccination or a traditional booster can call 973-509-4970.