New Jersey initiated the Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine distribution plan. Cooper University Hospital staff members in Camden are among the first in the state, and the Philadelphia region, to get the shots.
Cooper scheduled the vaccinations for Tuesday at 10 a.m. It is one of six hospital systems in New Jersey that have been given 76,000 doses. The other in South Jersey is AtlanticCare Regional Medical Center in Atlantic City.
The first New Jerseyan to receive a vaccine for Covid-19 was Maritza Beniquez, 56 a nurse at University Hospital in Newark with Gov. Phil Murphy in attendance.
The Garden State has begun the first of three phases of its vaccine distribution plan. In Phase 1A healthcare workers who come in contact with COVID-19 patients or infectious materials, and residents in long-term care facilities, are among the first to have access to the limited number of available doses. This phase is expected to go through the beginning of 2021.
Cooper is one of six hospital systems in New Jersey that have early access to the doses. AtlanticCare Regional Medical Center in Atlantic City is also on the list.
A long way to go
Gov. Murphy, during a news conference on Monday, said “everyone will have access to one of these vaccines” by April or May. Murphy and other officials emphasized, however, that there is still a long way to go.
“We are also in for several hard months, especially the next six to eight weeks,” Murphy said.
The vaccine comes more than nine months since the first documented Covid-19 case in New Jersey was recorded on March 4. Since then, it has since sickened more than 405,000 and killed close to 18,000, hitting New Jersey harder than virtually any other state.