NEW JERSEY - Saturday was a day of hope in Newark. Health care workers rolled up their sleeves, as Essex County received its first shipment of the Moderna Vaccine.
"Having received this vaccine, which I know works for a fact, but, very importantly I can also share this information with colleagues, who will see me working today and they will realize this is something we are all in this together," said Dr. Naipaul Rambaran with Essex County Hospital Center.
Doctors getting the vaccine hope to inspire others on the frontlines – and the general public – to get the shots when they become available to them. This latest shipment in New Jersey comes after just last week Governor Murphy said the state received about 100,000 fewer doses than it had expected. In New York, Governor Cuomo announced that as of this past Wednesday, 89,000 New Yorkers had received their first dose of the vaccine.
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"We are not where we need to be actually because there are many healthcare workers that even I personally know who still don’t know when they will get the vaccine or don’t have access to the vaccine, especially a lot of community-based physicians that may not necessarily be affiliated with a major medical center, they have no plan in place," said immunologist Dr. Purvi Parikh. She applauds any step forward but believes we’re behind schedule with vaccinations. Dr. Anthony Fauci is now stating that achieving herd immunity against the virus could require as much as 90% of the population to be vaccinated. Dr. Parikh just got her first shot this week.
"I worked on the Pfizer trial since May so it was kind of like a full-circle moment. It was more emotional than I expected it to be and it is great seeing people getting vaccinated because we didn’t even know if it was going to work or if it was going to happen," said Dr. Parikh.
Essex County, which is a place known for having several COVID-19 hotspots, now has five vaccination centers for frontline workers and those most vulnerable. You can make an appointment online at www.EssexCOVID.org.