Toms River health care workers receive Moderna vaccine at drive-through clinic

More than 27,000 medical employees across the state have been inoculated against COVID-19

Gov. Phil Murphy and state health officials were in Toms River Wednesday at the Ocean Health Initiative Center where doses of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine were administered at a drive-through site. After receiving the vaccine, workers waited in an observation area to make sure they didn’t suffer an adverse reaction.

So far, more than 27,000 medical employees across the state have been inoculated. By the end of the month, the state health department says it will have received more than 405,000 total doses from drugmakers Moderna and Pfizer.

Michael Minkin, a physical therapist who works with geriatric patients, was among the first to get vaccinated at the drive-through. “I haven’t seen my family for Thanksgiving and some of the other holidays and I’m doing this because I want people to know I’m doing it for them. I care about all of my patients and I care about my family and I think this is one step closer to being able to battle this virus,” he said.

The state also announced a partnership with Rite Aid to provide vaccines for home health care and hospice workers. The news comes just as New Jersey officials get ready to launch vaccination programs at long-term care facilities next week.