December 13, 2020
New Jersey will take a major step forward on Tuesday toward bringing an end to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic when it administers the first dosage of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine.
The first doses sent to the state will be administered at University Hospital in Newark, Gov. Phil Murphy announced on Sunday.
New Jersey will receive an initial batch of 76,000 doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, which was granted an emergency use authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Friday. It became the first coronavirus vaccine to receive a green light for inoculation from U.S. regulators during the ongoing pandemic.
Appearing on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday, Murphy reiterated that health care workers and long-term residents and staff will be the groups of highest priority as the state begins distributing the vaccine.
The governor said that the state is currently working with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control to figure out who will come next after the first groups are entirely vaccinated.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy says the “majority” of his state’s first batch of COVID-19 vaccines will be administered to health care workers starting Tuesday morning and the rest will be available to “longterm care residents and staff.” https://t.co/8pO0laHwTB pic.twitter.com/VbFmGSRiaP— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) December 13, 2020
Despite the long-awaited arrival of a COVID-19 vaccine, Murphy warned against those seeing this development as an opportunity to stop wearing face masks or practicing social distancing.
The state recorded 4,170 additional coronavirus cases on Sunday, increasing the statewide total to over 400,000 since the public health crisis started in March.
As many as 80% of new infections could be stemming from private gatherings, Murphy said. The governor’s warning comes as residents prepare to gather with family and friends during the holiday season.
“Celebrate holidays small with your immediate family,” Murphy said. “We know that stinks, but please God that’s your down payment for a more normal one next year.”
“The basic stuff we cannot let up,” Murphy continued. “I think the next six to eight weeks are going to be really challenging, but we’ll get through it. We gotta not let our guard down in the meantime.”
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy says despite “good news” on a COVID-19 vaccine, “the next number of weeks are going to be hell, I fear, so we’re begging with people to please, please, please don’t let your guard down even when you’re in private settings.” https://t.co/8pO0laHwTB pic.twitter.com/mLMnT29Vg0— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) December 13, 2020
Murphy said that he’s hopeful that every New Jersey resident will have access to a COVID-19 vaccine by April or May, and he urged residents to receive one once they are able to.
Asked about some health care workers who are hesitant to take the COVID-19 vaccine, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy tells @MarthaRaddatz that “confidence has been building … we believe in these vaccines, they work. We want people to get them.” https://t.co/8pO0laHwTB pic.twitter.com/EpQgcLTAJa— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) December 13, 2020
New Jersey has had 15,883 lab-confirmed deaths due to COVID-19 since the pandemic started.