NJ could receive 130K doses of Pfizer vaccine next month if emergency use granted, governor says

New Jersey expects to receive 130,000 doses of Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine by next month if it's approved for emergency use by the U.S. government, according to Governor Phil Murphy.

The news comes shortly after Pfizer announced Friday that it has submitted an emergency authorization application for its vaccine that is reportedly 95% effective against the coronavirus. A similarly effective vaccine developed by Moderna is expected to follow close behind.

Upon approval, Murphy anticipates the shipment will be received by late December. New Jersey will follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's guidelines for distributing the vaccine. First in line will be the state's 650,000 frontline healthcare workers who are at high-risk for exposure to the virus. Also included in the first phase is the combined 190,000 staff and residents at long term care facilities.

Persichilli reported that the Pfizer vaccine will be administered in two doses spaced 21 days apart. The vaccine will need to be kept in ultracold chain storage, which about 40 hospitals have on hand according to Persichilli. The Moderna vaccine, which is expected to follow closely behind Pfizer, will also require two shots spaced 28 days apart but can be stored in a refrigerator.

New Jersey health officials expect to double the state's stockpile of Pfizer vaccines shortly after the first shipment is received. Persichilli said once the Moderna vaccine is approved and delivered, the state could have 400,000-460,000 doses by early January.

As the state widens its arsenal of shots, other essential workers and high-risk populations can start to get vaccinated. This second phase group also includes people 65 years or older and people living in congregate settings.

By the spring, Persichilli said the state should have enough vaccinations to begin branching out to include the general public. It's the state's goal to vaccinate 70% of New Jersey's population within six months of approval.


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