Additional states marked public health milestones on Tuesday after the first coronavirus vaccinations were administered to front-line health care workers.
The first Pfizer jab in New Jersey went to a nurse, Maritza Beniquez, who works in the emergency department at University Hospital in Newark. It was also her birthday.
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“I couldn’t wait for this moment,” Beniquez said shortly after her vaccination, per NJ.com.
N.J. Gov. Phil Murphy and his wife, among others, were on site at University Hospital Tuesday morning to observe the first vaccinations in the state.
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“I barely felt the needle. I had to check it went it,” Beniquez said, per the outlet. “I didn’t feel it. There was no pain. I feel great.”
“It was an incredible thrill to witness these first vaccinations,” Murphy said at a briefing Tuesday. “We know this is not the end but we know we are witnessing at least the beginning of the end.”
The hospital’s president, Dr. Shereef Elnahal, wrote in a tweet that vaccine appointments were booked for the week, calling it “very encouraging.”
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The first jabs in New Hampshire followed soon thereafter.
“New Hampshire is administering the first doses of @pfizer’s #CovidVaccine to five front line clinical health care workers at Elliot Hospital in Manchester this morning,” Gov. Chris Sununu tweeted. “Today is monumentous.”
According to the hospital, ICU nurse Heidi Kukla was the first person vaccinated in New Hampshire, followed by Dr. Melissa Martinez-Adorno from Southern New Hampshire Health, among others.