New Jersey has officially reached its goal of fully vaccinating 4.7 million individuals who live, work or study in the state against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), said Gov. Phil Murphy (D-N.J.) at a press conference at University Hospital in Newark today.
The state hit this goal approximately two weeks ahead of its initial June 30 target date and a little more than six months after administering its first vaccine dose on Dec. 15, 2020. Murphy said this was not only an extremely aggressive goal for New Jersey but also one of the most aggressive goals throughout the U.S.
“Reaching our milestone … in a little more than six months required a comprehensive statewide approach, with strong partnerships across all levels of government, the private sector and in our communities,” he said, according to a press release. “Our administration built a large-scale vaccination infrastructure, with more than 1,500 vaccine distribution sites to date, to meet demand and provide equitable access to all eligible individuals.”
Murphy said that while reaching this initial goal is exciting, the state will not let up and will continue its efforts toward vaccinating individuals across New Jersey.
There are still a number of communities with populations over 10,000 that have vaccination rates under 50 percent, he said in a tweet on Wednesday. New Brunswick is 1 of these 7 communities and currently has a vaccination rate of 45 percent.
One way that New Jersey plans on increasing statewide vaccination rates is through Operation Jersey Summer, which Murphy said will allow them to reach into every community as well as work with respected community voices to push vaccination.
Statewide, there are 4,499,684 individuals who are fully vaccinated, with 9,353,316 total vaccine doses administered as of today, according to New Jersey's COVID-19 Dashboard.
“We are grateful to the millions who rolled up their sleeves to protect themselves, their families and their communities from COVID-19, and together, we have exceeded our initial goal,” he said, according to the release. “While we are celebrating this remarkable achievement, our work is not yet finished, and we must continue working together to vaccinate all eligible individuals to end the COVID-19 pandemic.”