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.

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“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.”

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

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