New School Year & Update on COVID-19 Vaccines
This past Wednesday, Mendham Township Elementary School and Middle School and the West Morris Regional High Schools were the first schools in New Jersey to welcome students back for the new school year. I am so grateful to our school Superintendents, Principals, Board of Educations, educators, parents, and stakeholders who worked together to ensure that our students were able to be back full-time and in-person this school year.
In addition to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) back to school health tips, the NJ Department of Health and NJ Department of Education have issued updated health and safety guidance for the 2021/2022 school year. Also, this past week, Governor Murphy signed an executive order requiring all preschool through grade 12 full-time and part-time workers to be fully vaccinated by October 18th or be subject to weekly COVID-19 testing, at a minimum. This order applies to all public, private, charter, and renaissance schools throughout the state.
This past Monday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Pfizer’s COVID-19 Vaccine for individuals 16 years of age and older. The fully licensed vaccine will now be marketed as Comirnaty. Pfizer’s vaccine will continue to be available under emergency use authorization (EUA) for individuals 12 through 15 years of age and for a third booster dose in certain immunocompromised individuals. EUA status continues to be extended for Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 Vaccine and Moderna’s COVID-19 Vaccine including a third dose for immunocompromised individuals. A full list of conditions can be found on the CDC’s website.
In NJ, vaccination sites have been instructed to offer third doses to the immunocompromised population. Proof of condition or a doctor’s note is not required. On Monday, the NJDOH Commissioner announced that since the 3rd shot was authorized, 19,111 individuals have received a 3rd dose.
Due to recent studies that show the decline of COVID-19 vaccine efficacy over time, the FDA and CDC are in the process of evaluating the efficacy of a third booster shot for the general population. If approved, the goal would be for individuals to start receiving a COVID-19 booster shot beginning the week of September 20th, with individuals being eligible starting 8 months after they received their second dose of either the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 Vaccines. More information and data is expected from the CDC in regards to the administration of another dose of the J&J COVID-19 Vaccine.
To find a vaccination location nearest you, click here: https://covid19.nj.gov/pages/finder.
Enjoy the rest of your weekend, and take care.
Mayor, Mendham Township