Murphy: New Jersey gearing up for likely distribution of COVID vaccine

TRENTON (WCBS 880) — New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy is pleased the new administration can finally begin the transition process and allow for the rollout of a COVID vaccine.

Murphy says the state is on track to start delivering vaccines to people as soon as it's possible.

“Our comprehensive vaccine plan has already been filed with the federal government and we continue to review it and are prepared to make whatever changes need to be made,” he said.

Murphy was hoping to start the vaccine distribution in about a month, but said every day the incoming Biden administration was blocked from beginning the transition process, which halted New Jersey’s plans for some time.

“Every day that the transition is held back puts our ability to be ready at risk,” he said earlier Monday.

Now that the Biden team has been allowed to begin the process, New Jersey says it is expecting 130,000 doses of vaccines from Pfizer, who is waiting on emergency use approval, by Christmas and is planning to vaccinate healthcare workers first.

“This will be an enormous logistical undertaking and any break or disruption in the supply chain will be paid for in lives,” he said.

By January, along with other company’s vaccines, a total of almost 500,000 could be ready to go, Murphy says.

The news came as More than 330 New Jerseyans were admitted to hospitals with COVID-19 on Sunday.

As of Sunday night, 2,693 people in the state were hospitalized with confirmed or probable COVID-19 cases, 537 of whom were in intensive care and 240 of whom were on ventilators, Murphy said at a news briefing Monday afternoon.

New Jersey also reported 3,592 new positive COVID-19 test results and 11 new fatalities, pushing its case total to 309,588 and its death toll to 14,960, he said. The state’s COVID-19 infection rate on Nov. 19 stood at 8.65 percent, he noted.

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