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Johnson & Johnson vaccines administered to seniors in Union City

A group of seniors in Hudson County became some of the first in the state to receive the one-shot Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine on Friday.

News 12 Staff

Mar 5, 2021, 5:52 PM

Updated 1,204 days ago

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A group of seniors in Hudson County became some of the first in the state to receive the one-shot Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine on Friday.
It all took place at the Union Plaza Apartments in Union City with Gov. Phil Murphy, Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli and the CEO of Johnson & Johnson welcoming the moment 13 months in the making.
Anna Marie Flores, a self-proclaimed proud senior citizen, was the first in her complex to receive the vaccine, cheered on by the assembled dignitaries.
The vaccine could be the game changer many health experts are hoping for because its one-dose application and lack of extreme refrigeration, and because it may finally start easing those backlogs and filled appointment slots.
Late this week, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine began distribution across New Jersey, with some of those first shots administered at the apartment complex.
After witnessing five senior citizens receiving the vaccine, Johnson & Johnson CEO Alex Gorsky and Murphy spoke about the historical moment.
"To think 13 months ago our scientists took some numbers on a screen and turned it into the vaccine that was administered today, safe effective one-shot, it brings tears to my eyes, but thank you, thank you, thank you so much," Gorsky said.
"We already know that Johnson & Johnson was in a strong position to meet our shared goals for vaccine production, delivery and distribution, but we also want to give a shoutout to their partnership with another New Jersey icon and pharmacy, Merck, to help get even there faster," Murphy said.
The vaccines were part of Hudson County's first shipment of 1,500 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Primarily they will help vulnerable seniors who can't leave their residences. Members of the most at-risk population unable to sign up for shots because of the backlog has been a problem in all parts of the state.
In clinical trials, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine was found to be 100% effective against hospitalizations and death and 85% effective against severe illnesses.
Murphy went on to say this will be an important step in fighting the coronavirus especially with its known variants now showing up in New Jersey.
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