South Orange-Maplewood Officials Urge Parents to ‘Catch Children Up’ on Vaccinations

by Mary Barr Mann
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“One recent email that we received from the State health department is the importance of catching children up, in particular, on recommended vaccinations,” announced Maplewood and South Orange Health Officer Candice Davenport at the November 28, 2022 South Orange Board of Health meeting.

“In particular they wanted us to focus on the measles,” said Davenport. “Drops in immunization coverage leave our children vulnerable to vaccine preventable diseases which can easily spread in congregate settings like child care facilities and school.”

“Surges in pediatric illness can easily put a strain on the health care system as we are seeing on the news with RSV,” said Davenport, who urged residents to call the health department or visit the CDC website for vaccination guidelines.

Residents can contact the health department at (973) 762-8120 or email the townships’ nurse Anna Markarova at with questions.

In addition, Davenport announced that the health department would be hosting a free Moderna Omicron COVID booster clinic at Maplewood Town Hall, 574 Valley Street, Maplewood, NJ, Saturday, December 3 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. However, the clinic is for adults ages 18 and up. She encouraged those seeking booster shots to register ahead of time.

The South Orange-Maplewood School District recently provided information on COVID vaccination clinics for children, which Davenport reiterated at the November 28 Board of Health meeting. The following communication was sent to district families on November 3, 2022:

Dear Parents/Guardians:

Please note this important update from the CDC regarding vaccinations for children 5-11 years old, which are now available through Essex County, as well as additional MediMobile Testing opportunities for the SOMSD community.

  • Essex County Vaccination News for children: On November 2nd, the CDC endorsed and recommended that children 5 to 11 years old be vaccinated against COVID-19 with the Pfizer pediatric vaccine. Please see the Essex County Web page. for information on how to make an appointment.

Presently, the Essex County mega sites in Newark, West Orange and Livingston are vaccinating this age group Monday through Friday 4pm to 7pm as well as Saturday 9am to 5pm by appointment.

  • SOMSD Additional Testing News: Our District, in partnership with MediMobile (, will continue walk-in COVID Rapid and PCR Testing on Saturdays from 9am to 3pm at CHS.  As the weather gets colder, please go to the CHS Cafeteria, enter from Parker Avenue parking lot.  

In addition to Saturdays, MediMobile will test on Wednesday afternoons from 4pm to 6pm beginning November 10th at the BOE Building, 525 Academy Street in the District Meeting Room.  Walk-in, Rapid and PCR tests available.

South Orange Maplewood School District

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