Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer on Monday announced that their coronavirus vaccine candidate was approximately 90% effective, according to early data in a large-scale study. But Governor Murphy cautioned that despite the good news, it would take months before there are enough vaccines available to return to normalcy.
At his daily press conference on Monday, the governor said that New Jersey still has a dark winter ahead of it, as a “twindemic” of coronavirus and influenza infections could overwhelm state medical resources. Governor Murphy announced new statewide restrictions that will go into effect Friday on bars and restaurants and urged residents to redouble their efforts in complying with rules enacted to mitigate the spread of Covid-19, including social distancing, hand washing, and wearing face masks.
When a vaccine does become available, New Jersey is expected to receive about 50,000 vaccines in the first batch, not nearly enough to inoculate the majority of the population. Those first 50,000 are intended to go to health care workers who are fighting on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic every day. There are, however, some issues even with that. In a recent poll, only 40% of New Jersey nurses said they would receive the vaccine, with many worried that it was rushed through the testing period and could have significant side effects.
Still, Governor Murphy said that he spoke to Dr. Anthony Fauci, who heads the White House Coronavirus Task Force, who said that he believes that mass inoculation will be taking place sometime in the spring.
But that is only if everything goes as planned. A vaccine will still need to finish its trials and be approved by the FDA. And then the vaccine would need to be manufactured and distributed, a process that sounds simpler than it is in reality.
So, despite the good news of a coronavirus vaccine appearing to give antibodies to those who take it, the end of Covid-19 and the restrictions that go along with it, is still not quite in sight.