COVID Vaccination Questions? This Partnership Wants to Help

COVID-19 has upended our lives for a full year, but I for one am feeling a hint of hope. We’ve surpassed 3 million doses of the vaccine administered in New Jersey. Each one brings us closer to emerging from this pandemic and beginning a return to our new normal.

This week and in the days ahead, vaccination in New Jersey will expand to additional groups, including a growing list of essential workers and individuals with underlying health conditions that put them at high risk for COVID-19. The demand for vaccine still exceeds supply, and that certainly can be frustrating for those searching for a vaccine appointment. I urge you to hang in there. There are three approved vaccines now that have been fully vetted through safety reviews, and vaccine production continues to increase.

As vaccination eligibility expands, some of you may still have questions about COVID vaccination. If you have concerns about the vaccines, you don’t want to be told what to think – but you do want reliable information. That’s why the New Jersey Hospital Association has joined with several other statewide organizations to provide the COVID Big Shot website with tailored information about the available vaccines, FAQs and the latest news about vaccination.

In addition, the “I’m a Big Shot” photo wall showcases some of the thousands of healthcare professionals who were among the first to receive the vaccine in New Jersey. They have been on the frontlines caring for people throughout this pandemic, and now they are the messengers for the importance of vaccination. Why do we call it “I’m a Big Shot”?  Because every single individual is important in protecting themselves, their loved ones and their community with the COVID-19 vaccine.

But with spring – and hope – in the air, that doesn’t mean we can relax on safety precautions like wearing facemasks, social distancing and frequent hand washing. This is no time to get lax.

NJHA’s partners in this vaccination information effort span faith organizations, business groups and policy leaders: Salvation and Social Justice, the HealthCare Institute of New Jersey, the New Jersey Business and Industry Association, the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce and New Jersey Policy Perspective. It’s a diverse group, but we all share a commitment to the health of New Jersey residents and to helping our state emerge from a pandemic that has brought loss, isolation, stress and financial hardship.

The Rev. Dr. Charles Boyer, founding director of Salvation and Social Justice, may have said it best: “We’ve been called to this moment to protect the health of our communities.”

Visit the COVID Big Shot website at if you have questions about vaccination. It truly is New Jersey’s best shot to bring us together and move us forward.

Sandy Cayo, RN, DNP, is a family nurse practitioner and vice president of clinical performance and transformation at the New Jersey Hospital Association.

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Sandy Cayo, RN, DNP, is vice president of clinical performance and transformation at the New Jersey Hospital Association. A family nurse practitioner, she holds a doctorate degree in nursing practice and is completing her PhD in nursing research. Prior to joining NJHA, she served as clinical assistant professor at NYU.

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