PAULSBORO, N.J. (CBS) — A group of South Jersey nurses are among the first in our area to receive Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine. The nurses work at Jefferson Health-New Jersey, which has offices all over South Jersey.

They were thrilled to be some of the first in the region to get vaccinated.

With her sleeve rolled up, intensive care unit nurse Renee Stephens played the rare role of patient on Tuesday.

“I’m feeling incredibly grateful that the vaccine is here,” she said.

Stephens was first among 30 frontline health care providers as doctors, nurses and other allied professionals received the Moderna vaccine in Voorhees.

“When they first started talking about the vaccine, in my mind, I thought it was going to be years in the making, so the fact that it got here so quickly is just amazing,” Stephens said. “And the fact that it’s safe and the research has been done, I have absolutely no hesitation to worry about any of the side effects of the vaccine.”

Jefferson Health officials say it’s starting out with 1,200 doses of Moderna’s vaccine for this week.

“This is the moment of hope that we need,” said Jefferson Health-New Jersey President Brian Sweeney. “And we’re really excited to be able to roll out the vaccine in an impressive manner.”

Meantime, the New Jersey governor’s office is planning to roll out COVID vaccine mega sites.

“There’s gonna be six of them up and down the state,” Gov. Phil Murphy said.

Of those vaccine mega sites, three will be in South Jersey, including at the Moorestown Mall in Burlington County, Rowan College of South Jersey in Gloucester County and the Atlantic City Convention Center.

The governor’s hope is to have them ready to go by mid-January, but with a caveat.

“Whether or not we have the doses from the feds that will be supplied at that point, too early to determine,” Murphy said.

Unlike drive-thru testing sites, an official says the vaccine mega-sites will be inside buildings. There will also be hundreds of smaller vaccine clinics spread across the state as well.


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