NEWARK, N.J. — An emergency room nurse at Newark’s University Hospital on Tuesday became the first in New Jersey to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
Maritza Beniquez said it was her birthday as the vaccination was administered.
“I couldn’t wait for this moment,” Beniquez said.
Gov. Phil Murphy and other officials were on hand at the hospital, where health care workers will be given the vaccine produced by Pfizer.
Murphy called the development “the first drops in a really big bucket” but also called it “a day worth celebrating.”
New Jersey is expected to get three shipments of the Pfizer vaccine this month, beginning with about 76,000 doses this week and another 86,000 next week.
The state has had nearly 16,000 confirmed deaths from COVID-19, the fifth-most in the country, according to the Johns Hopkins University Medicine Coronavirus Research Center.