MORRIS COUNTY- The first of the state’s vaccination megasites was toured by Gov. Phil Murphy on Friday, opening a new front to combat COVID-19.

At Rockaway, in Morris County, the governor and other officials inspected a site at a former Sears store at the Townsquare Mall in Rockaway. The site will have the capacity to immunize 2,400 individuals a day, according to officials, depending on the availability of the vaccine.

“Throughout this pandemic, our first responders have continued to save lives and protect our communities, and I am proud today that we are able to provide them with this added level of protection as they continue to do their jobs,” said Gov. Murphy, who later that day visited a vaccination site at a KMart in West Orange, Essex County.

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“When we’re ready to move forward, this site will serve as one of six megasites for the general public to receive their vaccinations. With hundreds of thousands of preregistrations already received, we know there will be a strong demand when that day arrives.”

At the facility the governor was joined by New Jersey Department of Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli, Attorney General Gurbir Grewal, Superintendent of the State Police Colonel Patrick Callahan, Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill, Morris County Commissioner Director Stephen Shaw.

Governor Murphy, Department of Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli, Attorney General Gurbir Grewal, and Superintendent of the State Police Colonel Patrick Callahan visit and inspect the Morris County Vaccination Mega-Site, highlighting the beginning of the vaccination effort for sworn law enforcement and fire professionals on January 8 , 2020 (Edwin J. Torres / NJ Governor’s Office).

Around 100 persons were expected to be vaccinated at the site on Friday. Those who arrive at the site would be guided towards roughly 20 registration tables before going on to receive their first dose of the vaccine.

After receiving vaccines, individuals will be taken to an observation area for 15 minutes in order for health officials to monitor for side effects.

On Tuesday, firefighters and police officers were the first of the state’s 1B phase to be allowed to receive the vaccine. They will join health care workers, residents in long-term care facilities and EMTs who were allowed to receive the vaccine as part of the 1A phase.

“We are happy to see that Governor Murphy is moving forward quickly to make Covid-19 vaccines available to law enforcement and firefighters,” said Bob Fox, President of the New Jersey Fraternal Order of Police. “His immediate response is greatly appreciated by law enforcement.”

Other megasite locations are the Atlantic City Convention Center, in Atlantic County, Racetrack at the Meadowlands, in Bergen County, The Mooretown Mall, in Burlington County, Rowan College of South Jersey, in Gloucester County and the New Jersey Convention and Exposition Center, in Middlesex County.

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