Hope and History in Newark as COVID Vaccinations Begin

“Hope is HERE.”

That’s precisely how Phil Murphy described things on his Facebook page in preparation for today’s initial administration of the COVID-19 vaccine to health care workers at University Hospital in Newark.

The governor and First Lady Tammy Murphy arrived at the hospital about 8 a.m., walking into what a hospital official called a “simple set-up.”   Simple or not, it’s equipped to administer up to 600 vaccines a day.

The first woman in New Jersey to get the vaccine – a nurse identified as Maritza – said she couldn’t wait for a vaccine to arrive in the United States and New Jersey.

One of the pro-forma questions the nurse administering the vaccine had to ask was if Marissa had any interaction with the virus.

“Every day,” she said with a laugh.

As the process ensued, Marissa said, “This is it. Thank God.”

For the record, this was at 8:11 a.m.

Murphy and his wife stayed around to watch about five people get vaccinated. They were joined by Judy Persichilli, the health commissioner, and in the requisite local political touch, Joe DiVincenzo, the Essex County executive. The group posed for photos with most of those vaccinated.

“I love what you do for us,” the governor said to hospital workers during his roughly 20 minute visit.

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