Hundreds wait in line for hours outside Meadowlands mega COVID-19 vaccination site
News 12 New Jersey has been hearing about people who have waited for hours on a line at the Meadowlands COVID-19 mega-site, even though vaccines are given out by appointment only.
The line of people waiting on the vaccine wrapped around the side of the building and extended into the parking lot. It is something not seen at other vaccine mega-sites in New Jersey.
“This is just unreal. It’s not right,” said John Mason.
The East Windsor resident says that he spent two hours with his wife while she waited to get her vaccine. He got his Thursday morning at a site closer to home.
“I went this morning to Cure Arena in Trenton. In less than 30 minutes we were done,” he said.
Mason’s wife uses a wheelchair, so waiting for two hours was even more of an inconvenience. Mason’s daughter says that she felt that people with handicaps were being isolated.
“The people in the wheelchairs were there. And then you had to have whoever came with the person in the wheelchair stand in line the whole time,” she said.
Frank DeSevo of Lincroft had a 3:50 p.m. appointment. He said that he had been waiting 30 minutes.
“There’s something wrong here, either with the product or the people – not enough,” he said.
Hackensack Meridian Health spokesman Benjamin Goldstein said in a statement, "People are showing up in some cases four hours early for their appointment. Due to capacity constraints and social distancing guidelines inside the facility, there is no place where the early arrivers can wait."
Goldstein said that they are asking people to stay in their cars until 15 minutes before their appointment. He says that some people think that the vaccine supply will run out if they don’t come early, but if a person has an appointment, there will be a dose waiting for them.