Seniors In Union City Among First To Receive Johnson & Johnson's COVID Vaccine In New Jersey

The distribution of the coronavirus vaccine in New Jersey got a big boost Friday. The Johnson & Johnson single-dose shot is now available, and a group of seniors in Union City were among the first to receive it; CBS2's Natalie Duddridge reports.

Video Transcript

- Distribution of the coronavirus vaccine in New Jersey got a big boost today. The new Johnson & Johnson single-dose shot is now available.

- And a group of seniors in Union City were among the first to receive it. CBS 2's Natalie Duddridge reports.

NATALIE DUDRIDGE: Ana Maria Flores says a huge weight has been lifted off her shoulders now that she has a vaccine in her arm. Johnson & Johnson's single-dose shot means she's now fully vaccinated.

ANNA MARIA FLORES: Excellent. Excellent. Relief. [INAUDIBLE]

NATALIE DUDRIDGE: Flores is one of 400 residents at the Union Plaza Apartments getting the vaccine. This complex chosen because of a large number of seniors who live here with disabilities. A one-and-done shot is much more accessible.

LOURDES RODRIGUEZ: That's terrific, because you never know what can happen in six weeks, four weeks, whatever.

NATALIE DUDRIDGE: There have been lots of questions surrounding Johnson Johnson's overall efficacy not being as high as Moderna and Pfizer's. But the CEO of J&J, a New Jersey-based company, says it has advantages. It's easier to transport since it doesn't require a special deep freezer, making it easier to get into vulnerable communities.

ALEX GORSKY: We designed it in a way, with diversity and equity in mind. Over 20% of the patients in our trial were of Hispanic or Latino descent. Here in the United States, over 13% black African-American. These communities have been hit too hard by this disease.

NATALIE DUDRIDGE: And Governor Murphy also stressing the sooner people get shots, the better chance of keeping them out of hospitals, and stopping the spread of a variant.

PHIL MURPHY: This vaccine was tested in the teeth of the raging virus, including a significant amount of the trial in South America, Brazil specifically, South Africa. 100% effective against hospitalization and death, thank God. 85% effective against severe illness.

NATALIE DUDRIDGE: Murphy says the state will be receiving 70,000 J&J vaccines this week, helping work towards New Jersey's goal of vaccinating 70% of adults by July. In Union City, New Jersey, Natalie Duddridge, CBS 2 News.

- And Governor Murphy says the state is taking baby steps towards reopening, but health officials are still wary of mutation.