New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy announced today that the Garden State could receive its first shipment of the coronavirus vaccine by Christmas, if Pfizer’s request for emergency use is approved by the federal government.

The Governor’s statement comes in the wake of the sobering statistic that New Jersey has reached 14,900 deaths due to COVID-19 since the pandemic began in early March.  Today, Friday, the Governor said another 3,635 positive cases of COVID were announced.  That means 290,370 coronavirus cases have been recorded in New Jersey overall, with 2,505 virus-related hospitalizations as of today.

Pfizer says its vaccine has tested 95 percent effective in its trials, so the pharmaceutical giant applied to the Food and Drug Administration for emergency approval.  That approval cannot come fast enough.

According to Governor Murphy, the first shipment of the vaccine would include 130,000 doses.  Two doses would need to be given to a person 20 days apart.  The Governor added that a second vaccine shipment would come to New Jersey just before the end of December.

As news outlets have been saying for weeks, the first round of the vaccinations would be given to health care workers.  Today, New Jersey Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli stated the goal is to administer the vaccine to 70-percent of New Jersey’s adult population within six months time.

As for the rest of the general population, it is expected that the public should be vaccinated by April or early May.  The Governor says Congress must step in in order for these projections to be met, since approximately $8.1 billion…let me repeat that, $8.1 billion in federal funds will be needed to administer the program.

Commissioner Persichilli says between 400,000 and 460,000 COVID vaccine doses should arrive in New Jersey by January.  Those doses will immediately be sent to 40 hospitals statewide.

Until then, especially with Thanksgiving upon us, wear a mask, social distance and DO NOT gather in large crowds.  Your actions have consequences for people around you!!