New Jersey could receive 1st round of coronavirus vaccine by Christmas, Gov. Murphy says

Posted at 1:18 PM, Nov 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-20 14:08:04-05

TRENTON, N.J. — New Jersey could receive its first shipment of COVID-19 vaccines in late December, Gov. Phil Murphy said Friday.

Pfizer announced Friday morning that it would submit an Emergency Use Authorization request to the FDA for its COVID-19 vaccine. Earlier this week, the company said that a final analysis of trial results showed the vaccine is 95% effective.

Pfizer's two-shot vaccine has already been in mass production for months, and thousands of doses will be ready for delivery if and when the FDA grants authorization. Pfizer said it’s on track to produce 50 million doses of the vaccine by the end of 2020 and plans to produce 1.3 billion doses of the vaccine in 2021.

Murphy said if the vaccine is approved, he expects New Jersey’s first shipment of 130,000 doses to arrive around Christmas.

According to "Operation Warp Speed," the federal government's plan for distributing the vaccine, upon authorization, the drug will initially be rationed for high-risk populations and health care workers.

Murphy has outlined his own robust vaccination distribution plan, which aims to reach 70% of the state’s population.

Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli said in October that such an effort would require about 81,000 vaccinations per over five days.

A big hurdle, Persichilli said, will be building public confidence in the vaccine.