New Jersey’s first doses of the coronavirus vaccine will be given Tuesday, with the injections beginning for health-care workers in Philadelphia the following day, officials said.
New Jersey’s first 76,000 doses will be administered at University Hospital in Newark, Gov. Phil Murphy said in a Sunday tweet. They have been allotted for health-care workers and residents and staff of long-term care facilities.
In Philadelphia, where 15,000 doses are expected to arrive the same day in the first shipment to what city Health Commissioner Thomas Farley described as “a small number of hospitals,” they will be redistributed to other facilities so vaccinations can begin Wednesday. Farley did not specify which hospitals would be serving as distribution sites.
“The first health-care workers in the city — the people who are exposed to COVID every single day -- will get the opportunity to get the vaccine,” he said during an online event hosted by NBC10.
Those plans come as logistics experts and public health officials launched an unprecedented effort to distribute more than three million doses of Pfizer’s vaccine to sites across the nation while coronavirus cases continued to rise alarmingly.
There were 6,247 more cases of COVID-19 in New Jersey, 71 of which were fatal, according to state records Sunday. There were 11,084 more cases Saturday in Pennsylvania, which does not report statewide daily figures on Sundays.
“For all the good news -- the light at the end of the tunnel and the vaccine exemplifies that as much as anything — the next number of weeks are going to be hell, I fear,” Murphy said Sunday on ABC’s This Week. “So we’re begging people to please, please, please don’t let your guard down, even when you’re in private settings.”
Murphy said he believed 60% to 80% of coronavirus transmission took place in private settings.
“Celebrate holidays small with your immediate family,” he said on ABC, imploring people to social-distance and wear face masks. “We know that stinks, but please, God, that’s your down payment for a normal one next year.”
Staff writer Jeremy Roebuck contributed to this article.