Governor Murphy, Commissioner Persichilli Mark Start of COVID-19 Vaccination Effort for Residents and Staff of Long-Term Facilities

291 LTC Facilities Currently Scheduled for Vaccinations — Covering Over 83,000 New Jerseyans 

OLD BRIDGE, NJ (MIDDLESEX)—Governor Phil Murphy, joined by New Jersey Department of Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli and CVS Health Regional Director Kat Kingston, today visited Roosevelt Care Center in Old Bridge to mark the launch of New Jersey’s vaccination effort of residents and staff of long-term care facilities. The vaccinations are being administered pursuant to the Federal Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program, a partnership between the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), CVS, and Walgreens to facilitate on-site COVID-19 vaccination services. Through the Federal Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program, New Jersey already has 291 long-term care facilities scheduled and over 83,000 residents and staff slated to receive vaccinations through the beginning of February 2021, with more sites to be added in the coming weeks.

“Long-term care facilities across New Jersey and the entire nation have been devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Governor Murphy. “Over the past nine months, we have paid an incredible cost, but today is another positive step forward in our fight against this virus. New Jersey’s comprehensive and inclusive vaccination plan prioritizes individuals living in high-risk, congregate settings, such as nursing homes, Veterans Homes, and assisted living residences. We are incredibly grateful to CVS and Walgreens for their work with the Federal Pharmacy Partnership program to ensure that we have the resources to vaccinate and protect our most vulnerable populations.”

“Throughout this pandemic, the residents and staff of our long-term care facilities have been among the most severely impacted,” said Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli. “With the start of this large-scale vaccination effort today, we are continuing to strengthen protections for our most vulnerable populations, along with the staff who have been truly courageous in caring for them.”

“Today’s rollout is the culmination of months of internal planning and demonstrates how the private sector can use its expertise to help solve some of our most critical challenges,” said Larry J. Merlo, President and Chief Executive Officer, CVS Health. “I’m grateful for the herculean efforts of everyone involved, including our health care professionals who will be deployed throughout the country to bring peace of mind to long-term care facility residents, staff, and their loved ones.”

“Walgreens is very proud to be a part of this historic milestone to begin administering Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine to our most vulnerable populations in New Jersey and across the country,” said John Standley, President, Walgreens. “With more than a decade of experience administering various vaccines, we have the deep expertise to support this unprecedented effort to allow our nation to emerge from this pandemic.”

“Today marks an incredibly important day as we work together to protect the health and safety of our most vulnerable residents and frontline workers at New Jersey’s long-term care facilities,” said Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin. “I applaud Governor Murphy for helping facilitate this federal Pharmacy Partnership with CVS and Walgreens. These vaccination protocols will help ensure we come through this unprecedented public health emergency together and return to living our lives with our families and friends.”

“Our long-term care facilities have suffered unimaginable heartbreak and loss due to COVID-19. I am hopeful that the start of vaccinations for our most vulnerable seniors will also mark the beginning of the end of the public health emergency,” said Senator Sam Thompson. “The long, torturous pandemic has claimed lives, taken jobs, and interrupted daily life in New Jersey, but today we have cause for optimism as we prepare to close the door on 2020.”

“This marks the beginning of a new, important phase of our battle against the coronavirus pandemic,” said Senator Joe Vitale. “The distribution of the vaccine is reason for hope and optimism, but the health crisis is far from over. The threat is still very real, especially for the residents and front-line workers in long-term care facilities who are so vulnerable. We have  to make the best use of vaccines as the supply becomes available and we have to continue all the other safety measures as we go through this stage of the Covid crisis.”

  “It is an understatement to say that this has been an incredibly challenging year for all of us in healthcare, on many levels,” said Esther Moodey, Staff Nurse and the first LTC staff recipient of the COVID-19 vaccine in New Jersey. “I am thankful for the COVID-19 vaccine and honored to be the first staff member at our facility receive it, in solidarity with my colleagues in other long term care facilities around New Jersey. The vaccine brings hope and optimism about the future and promise of a return to ‘normal.’”