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NJ police and firefighters to begin receiving vaccinations Thursday, Murphy says
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NJ police and firefighters to begin receiving vaccinations Thursday, Murphy says

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Police and fire professionals in the state will be eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccinations effective Thursday, Gov. Phil Murphy said Wednesday.

The first responders were originally in phase 1B, but the state has prioritized them based on regular potential exposure to the coronavirus.

“These are folks who have been just as much in harm’s way and on the front lines as many of our health care workers,” Murphy said, “and they often have been called upon for emergency medical support. And, I might add also, they’ve been the ones who have had to deal with the knuckleheads.”

The state has so far vaccinated 135,606 of the 650,000 people included in phase one of its vaccination strategy. Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli said the state will continue to move through phases should the need arise. She added the state has enough doses to begin offering them to 1B groups.

“We are able to open up vaccination to them based on the available supply,” Persichilli said.

Persichilli has previously said the state is aiming to vaccinate 70% of the adult population, or 4.7 million people, within six months.

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More than 450,000 people have signed up so far on the state’s new vaccine pre-registration site, Murphy said Wednesday.

“It is not necessary to vaccinate all individuals in one phase before initiating the next phase,” Persichilli said. “The phases may in fact overlap. The movement between phases will be very fluid.”

For the week of Jan. 3, the state received a shipment of 108,625 doses, Persichilli said.

The governor also announced that the “mega” vaccination sites at the Rockaway Townsquare Mall in Morris County and Rowan College of South Jersey in Gloucester County will open Friday morning. Dates for the others — including the Atlantic City Convention Center — have not been announced.

“Our top priority remains vaccinating New Jerseyans in the 1A category — which includes our frontline health care workers and residents and staff at our long-term care centers,” Murphy said.

Murphy on Wednesday announced an additional 5,028 cases of COVID-19 in the state, bringing the total to 504,647. He also reported 104 new deaths for a statewide total of 17,464.

For most people, the coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

GALLERY: Atlantic County opens COVID-19 vaccine clinic

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Atlantic County Health Department gives healthcare worker COVID-19 vaccine shot at Atlantic Cape Community College Gymnasium in Mays Landing, …

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Atlantic County opened a vaccine clinic for health care workers Tuesday at Atlantic Cape Community College.

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Atlantic County's vaccine clinic begins Jan. 5 at Atlantic Cape Community College Gymnasium for individuals who qualify under the state's vacc…

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Atlantic County Health Department gives healthcare worker COVID-19 vaccine shot at Atlantic Cape Community College Gymnasium in Mays Landing, …

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Atlantic County Health Department gives healthcare worker COVID-19 vaccine shot at Atlantic Cape Community College Gymnasium in Mays Landing, …

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Atlantic County Health Department gives healthcare worker COVID-19 vaccine shot at Atlantic Cape Community College Gymnasium in Mays Landing, …

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Atlantic County's vaccine clinic begins Jan. 5 at Atlantic Cape Community College Gymnasium for individuals who qualify under the state's vacc…

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People wait 15 minutes or 30 minutes after receiving COVID-19 vaccine shot Atlantic County's vaccine clinic at Atlantic Cape Community College…

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People wait 15 minutes after receiving COVID-19 vaccines at Atlantic Cape Community College in Mays Landing.

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People wait 15 minutes or 30 minutes after receiving COVID-19 vaccine shot Atlantic County's vaccine clinic at Atlantic Cape Community College…

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People wait 15 minutes or 30 minutes after receiving COVID-19 vaccine shot Atlantic County's vaccine clinic at Atlantic Cape Community College…

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The just-vaccinated sit for 15 minutes in case they begin to notice side effects.

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Patrick Kennedy of Mays Landing wait in line for his vaccine shot at Atlantic Cape Community College Gymnasium in Mays Landing, NJ. Tuesday Ja…

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Maria Richards from the Atlantic County Division of Public Health gives Patrick Kennedy, of Mays Landing, the COVID-19 vaccine Tuesday at Atla…

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Maria Richards from Atlantic County Health Department gives Patrick Kennedy of Mays Landing COVID-19 vaccine shot at Atlantic Cape Community C…

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Maria Richards from Atlantic County Health Department gives Patrick Kennedy of Mays Landing COVID-19 vaccine shot at Atlantic Cape Community C…

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Maria Peguero from Atlantic County Health Department gives Maureen Vassi of Collongwood COVID-19 vaccine shot at Atlantic Cape Community Colle…

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Maria Peguero from the Atlantic County Health Department gives Maureen Vassi, of Collingswood, a COVID-19 vaccine Tuesday at Atlantic Cape Com…

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Atlantic County's vaccine clinic begins Jan. 5 at Atlantic Cape Community College Gymnasium for individuals who qualify under the state's vacc…

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Atlantic County's vaccine clinic begins Jan. 5 at Atlantic Cape Community College Gymnasium for individuals who qualify under the state's vacc…

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Atlantic County's vaccine clinic begins Jan. 5 at Atlantic Cape Community College Gymnasium for individuals who qualify under the state's vacc…

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People wait 15 minutes or 30 minutes after receiving COVID-19 vaccine shot Atlantic County's vaccine clinic at Atlantic Cape Community College…

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People wait 15 minutes or 30 minutes after receiving COVID-19 vaccine shot Atlantic County's vaccine clinic at Atlantic Cape Community College…

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Atlantic County's vaccine clinic begins Jan. 5 at Atlantic Cape Community College Gymnasium for individuals who qualify under the state's vacc…

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Atlantic County Health Department gives healthcare worker COVID-19 vaccine shot at Atlantic Cape Community College Gymnasium in Mays Landing, …

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