NJ doctor says COVID-19 vaccine boost only way to 'get back to normal'

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) -- New Jersey-based Virtua Health has hit a milestone with 100,000 vaccines administered. A top doctor at the health care provider says he is excited about what is yet to come now that Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine is available.

The COVID-19 vaccination mega site in Burlington County is now seeing nearly 5,000 people a day.

"And we're doing everything we can to become more and more efficient, to give more vaccine, because this is the only way we’re going to get back to normal," said Dr. Reg Blaber, chief clinical officer.

Blaber says all of the doses at the Burlington site so far have been from Pfizer.

New Jersey is getting about 70,000 doses of the J&J shot to start, though details of distribution are still unknown. Blaber says he is not sure how much, if any, from J&J will arrive there, but the impact extends well beyond that.

“The Johnson & Johnson vaccine, I think, gives us the opportunity to spread the vaccine across different sites than the mega site," Blaber said -- such as pharmacies, doctors' offices and other places that can’t keep Pfizer's or Moderna's vaccines cold enough with deep freezers.

And, he says, a single dose vaccine also means "you don’t have to worry about the logistics of tracking people down to get the second dose."

Blaber says people should not be concerned about which shot they get. They are about equal, he says, and he advises people to take the first one available to them.