NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ­–On December 15, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital’s New Brunswick campus began distributing the COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by the Pfizer corporation.

RWJUH was among the first six hospitals in the state to receive a batch of the precious vaccines, which were recently granted emergency use authorization by the US Food & Drug Administration.

The hospital plans to vaccinate thousands of front-line workers including the 5,000 healthcare workers on staff.

In order to handle such a large demand, the hospital to set up a vaccine clinic in a second-floor courtyard. This is the same area where every RWJUH employee was previously tested for the virus.

Employees are being provided with an appointment for their first shot, and they’ll have to return 28 days later for a second injection.

Employees are offered the chance to learn more about the vaccination during a designated observation period where they are monitored to see if they any adverse reactions to the vaccination.

“They will go to a vaccine station where they will get their injection and then from there to an observation station where they will have to stay for 15 minutes,” hospital Vice President Lydia Stockman told News 12 New Jersey.

In Newark, visited University Hospital’s COVID-19 vaccine clinic at the Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, kicking off the first day of the COVID-19 vaccinations for healthcare workers. The location reportedly has the potential capacity to administer at least 600 vaccinations daily.

Murphy also traveled to New Brunswick on December 17, where he toured the New Brunswick hospital’s vaccine clinic.

In all, the first six hospitals in the state received a total of 76,050 doses.

In addition to RWJUH and University Hospital, the other four are expected to be AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center in Atlantic City, Cooper University Hospital in Camden, Hackensack University Medical Center and Morristown Medical Center.

The state is still working out the details as to which groups will be eligible for the next wave of the vaccine. This includes nursing homes and other long-term care facilities located throughout New Jersey.

State officials have stated that their goal is to have 70% of the adult population vaccinated as soon as possible. This will be aided through the New Jersey Immunization Information System which will track all vaccinations throughout the state.

“Let me be perfectly clear that this order does not force anyone to receive the vaccine,” Murphy stated during one of his COVID-19 briefings in Trenton.

“We’re doing this for a simple reason – to ensure that those who choose to receive a vaccine get the most effective course in the most streamlined manner possible, on the proper timetable, and without logistical or bureaucratic hurdles in the way.”

Widespread access to the vaccine is not expected until at least April 2021.

Reporter at New Brunswick Today |