Murphy assures NJ an eventual COVID-19 vaccine would be safe

By KYW Newsradio 1060

SOUTH JERSEY (KYW Newsradio) — As coronavirus cases continue to mount, New Jersey is preparing its plan to distribute an eventual vaccine — and to convince residents that it would be safe and effective.

If and when a vaccine is released, Gov. Phil Murphy said it will likely come in a limited supply at first. The distribution plan, which the state submitted to the federal government, gives priority to health care workers and those at the highest risk.

Murphy said the state’s goal is to inoculate 70% of the eligible adult population, but he acknowledged a major hurdle will be convincing everyone that the vaccine is safe.

“We cannot let the online rumors and social media-driven conspiracy theories jeopardize our ability to build statewide immunity against a deadly virus,” Murphy said. “We know from public polling that there is already growing public skepticism of a vaccine. And in the face of this virus, that skepticism could prove to be as deadly as the virus itself.”

The state reported 1,223 new cases and seven more deaths on Monday — the ninth day in a row that new COVID-19 cases in New Jersey have topped 1,000.

“Everywhere you look, it is screaming out that it is surging right now,” Murphy said.

The governor also called on New Jerseyans to cooperate with state contact tracers when they call. He said 58% of those contacted refused to pass along the names of those they have been in contact with.