Governor Phil Murphy was at University Hospital in Newark this morning, as Emergency Room nurse Maritza Beniquez become the first New Jerseyan to receive the coronavirus vaccine. After witnessing the event, the Governor issued the following statement:
“This morning, I had the honor to stand alongside Maritza Beniquez as she became the first New Jerseyan to receive a COVID-19 vaccination. As an emergency room nurse at University Hospital in Newark, Martiza has been on the front lines of this pandemic and has done extraordinary work fighting for her patients and saving lives.
It was an incredible thrill to witness Martiza’s vaccination and those of other frontline health care workers this morning. We know that this is not the end of the pandemic, but we can now see the light at the end of the tunnel — and that’s something that should give all of us hope.
Soon, hundreds of thousands of frontline healthcare workers and long-term care facility residents and staff will be vaccinated. Early next year, many more New Jerseyans will join them, starting with our most vulnerable populations and essential workers and eventually moving to the general public. Once we reach a critical mass of vaccinations, we will finally be in a better position to end this nightmare and return to a new normal.
Although today should give us all hope, no one should mistake it for the end of the road. The next few months will be incredibly challenging with cases continuing to rise. We have to continue acting responsibly and do our part to slow the spread of COVID-19 until these vaccines become widely available and adopted. That means wearing a mask, practicing social distancing, avoiding large gatherings, downloading our COVID-19 app, cooperating with contact tracers, and doing your part to keep people safe. For more information on what you can do and the current status of cases, visit our COVID-19 Information Hub.
We will get through this together if we stay at it and continue to follow common sense public health guidelines. And now, we will at least know that some of our frontline heroes will soon no longer have to put themselves at personal risk to care for us. That’s something we can all be thrilled about.”
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