EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — If you’re headed to the New Jersey State Fair, there’s something different this year.

In addition to traditions like corndogs, there are vaccines.

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There’s more than just deep-fried Oreos, dinosaurs and grilled gators at the State Fair Meadowlands.

This year, you can take some crucial health steps before you step on your first ride.

Deborah Visconi, president and CEO of Bergen New Bridge Medical Center, says teams are providing free COVID vaccines and health screenings.

“It’s important for people to have access to quality health care right in their community, and so it’s important for us to be able to provide that access here for free health screenings, free COVID vaccines for children and adults,” she said.

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COVID VACCINE

“And why is it important to keep people thinking about vaccinations?” CBS2’s John Elliott asked.

“Because we’re not out of the woods yet with the COVID pandemic. There are variants that are in our community that the only way to protect against them is to get the COVID vaccine,” Visconi said.

The process is simple. Anyone can register and get the shot. You’ll be asked to wait about 15 minutes to make sure you don’t suffer any side effects, and then you can reward yourself with some delicious deep-fried ribbon fries.

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The New Jersey State Fair runs through July 11 at MetLife Stadium.

John Elliott