First Residents Receive the Johnson & Johnson Vaccine

Gov. Phil Murphy, Johnson & Johnson CEO Alex Gorsky and several other state officials gathered in Union City this morning to watch the first New Jerseyans receive the new Johnson & Johnson (J&J) COVID-19 vaccine.

“This is a huge day in our fight to beat COVID-19,” Murphy said. “It also gives us incredible pride that this vaccine was developed by one of our state’s most iconic and historic companies – perhaps the company most responsible for our reputation as the medicine chest of the world – Johnson & Johnson.”

The J&J’s vaccine differs from Pfizer and Moderna’s due to the fact that it injects viral DNA as opposed to mRNA. Because of this, the J&J vaccine is easier to manufacture and can safely be stored at normal refrigeration levels. It also only takes one dose to fully administer.

“This vaccine gives us much greater agility in bringing these doses directly to the communities that need them and deploy them rapidly,” Murphy said.

He added that the J&J vaccine was tested globally, including in South America and South Africa, and showed to be highly effective in preventing serious illness and death. The successful global testing is also good news when it comes to combating the newer strains of the virus.

“We now have three potent weapons against COVID-19, and this weapon from J&J is going to allow us to reach deep into our communities to bring the vaccine to residents to ensure equitable access and equitable distribution, and save lives in some of our hardest hit areas,” Murphy said.

“To think that 13 months ago our scientists took some numbers on a screen and turned it into the vaccine that was administered today – safe, effective and one shot – it brings tears to my eyes,” Gorsky said.

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