PATERSON, N.J. (PIX11) — A caravan of police, fire and public works tipped its hat to the foot soldiers on the frontlines in Paterson Friday.
The city held an appreciation parade for their health care heroes on Friday after nearly two years of battling the ongoing health crisis that is COVID-19.
Workers from the Paterson division of health and Saint Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center are credited with helping the city reach its extraordinary milestone this week of a 100% vaccination rate for those 18 and over who have received at least one shot.
“We were all tested, continue to get tested but this city and this division of health has delivered,” Dr. Paul Persaud, Paterson Public Health Officer, said.
Whether it was at city pop-up clinics or by way of mobile units, COVID testing and vaccinations were widely accessible in the city — and continue to be.
The approach, which officials say was “injecting equity into access,” was key to getting the job done.
“We did it,” Mayor Andre Sayegh said. “We make it as convenient as we can for anyone who may have some hesitancy and may not come to us.”
For workers like Robert McIntyre who works in the health education department of the city’s division of health – the daily grind of keeping his community safe is rewarding in itself.
The fight, he says, is a universal one.
“We all have to fight and stand up and take a stand you know fight back at this infection,” McIntyre said.