By CBS3 Staff

TRENTON, N.J. (CBS) — New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said as of Monday morning, 9,000 children ages 5 to 11 in the state have received their first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. The update was seen live on CBSN Philly this afternoon.

Murphy said the more school children get vaccinated, the sooner the state can lift the school mask mandate.

READ MORE: Raymond Thompson Charged In Fatal Stabbing Of Woman In West Philadelphia, Police Say She Had Protection Order Against Him

“When I look back on our announcement over the summer that our schools would begin the academic year with a masking requirement in place — by the way a requirement that gave none of us any joy — one of the reasons was that our youngest students were not yet eligible for vaccinations. Well, now they are,” Murphy said Monday. “With each child who gets vaccinated and enters a classroom with an educator who was vaccinated and sits among their peers who are vaccinated, the closer we get to being able to lift this requirement.”

READ MORE: NJDOT Offering Drivers Money To Simply Drive Around; Here's How It Works

There’s no word yet on what benchmarks New Jersey will use to lift the school mask mandate.

MORE NEWS: How Your Dog Can Help Save Lives Amid Nationwide Blood Shortage That Isn't Just Impacting Humans

Across the bridge, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf said the commonwealth will allow schools to set its masks rules in January.