Essex County to Hold ‘I Got Vaccinated At Turtle Back Zoo!’ June 5

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From Essex County Executive’s Office:

Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. announced COVID-19 vaccinations will be given at Essex County Turtle Back Zoo. Anyone who gets their first dose of a Coronavirus vaccine at the “I Got Vaccinated at Turtle Back Zoo!” will receive a voucher for one free admission to the zoo. It will be held as follows:

Date:               Saturday, June 5, 2021

Times:            10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Place:             Essex County South Mountain Recreation Complex

                                    Essex County Turtle Back Zoo

                                    560 Northfield Avenue

                                    West Orange, NJ

“Significant progress has been made to get the public vaccinated for COVID-19. However more work must be done to get at least 70 percent of the population vaccinated so herd immunity can occur,” DiVincenzo said. “Offering visitors to Turtle Back free admission may be an incentive for some people who are hesitant to get vaccinated. Turtle Back Zoo is a popular family destination and getting vaccinated is the best way to protect our loved ones from contracting the virus,” he said.

Visitors are eligible to receive a voucher if they are receiving their first dose of the vaccine. The voucher can be used through September 1, 2021. No appointment is necessary. Pfizer and J&J vaccines will be administered. People ages 18 and older are eligible to receive the J&J vaccine. People ages 12 and older are eligible to receive the Pfizer vaccine.

There isn’t any out of pocket costs to receive the vaccine. However, if someone does have medical insurance, Essex County is allowed to bill the insurance carrier a $40 fee for each dose of the vaccine. If a visitor does not have medical insurance, the cost of the vaccine will be covered by the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Provider Relief Fund.

Turtle Back Zoo is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets are $17 for adults, $14 for senior citizens over 62 and children ages 2 to 12, and free for children under 2. To promote social distancing, tickets must be purchased in advance at For more information, visit or call 973-731-5800.

Essex County Turtle Back Zoo has roared back to life from the verge of closure by a previous administration. Attendance reached an all-time high of 907,522 in 2017 and the zoo has operated as a self-sustaining facility with revenue collected exceeding operating expenses. In addition, Turtle Back is accredited by American Humane, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and the Zoological Association of American, a clear indication that an institution is committed to the highest standards in animal care, ethics, conservation and education. It also has been named the Best Zoo in New Jersey by NJ Monthly magazine four times and received a Certificate of Excellence from three times.

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