What to Know
- New Jersey has hit Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy’s goal of vaccinating 4.7 million people.
- State Department of Health figures showed Friday that the state had inoculated 4.75 million adults, hitting a goal Murphy set for his administration nearly two weeks ahead of schedule.
- Murphy had said the figure amounted to 70% of the adult population, but his office said the percentage has dropped because the state’s population grew during the most recent census.
For months, Gov. Phil Murphy has been calling on getting 4.7 million people in New Jersey vaccinated against COVID-19 before the end of June.
On Friday, the first-term Democrat announced during a news conference at Rutgers Medical School at University Hospital in Newark that the self-imposed milestone was reached with 12 days to spare.
As of late Friday morning, the total number of people with both doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine was just shy of 4.75 million., according to state data.
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Murphy had said the figure amounted to 70% of the adult population, but his office said the percentage has dropped because the state’s population grew during the most recent census.
Murphy said the goal, which he called "aggressive," was reached, but work remained.
"This is not mission accomplished," Murphy said Friday.
While New Jersey has surpassed the governor's goal, the percentage of the state's roughly 9 million people who are vaccinated stands at about 54%. Children under 12 aren't eligible for vaccines at this point.
Murphy isn't declaring the vaccine effort over as he hopes the Operation Jersey Summer vaccine incentive program and free clinics around the state continue to get more people vaccinated, saying its possible to still vaccinate millions more in the Garden State. Click here to find a vaccine near you.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed the state with 66% of its population vaccinated as of early Friday.
President Joe Biden has set a nationwide goal of vaccinating 70% of adults with at least one shot before July 4. New Jersey has exceeded that goal, with 77% of adults having at least one jab.
The swell in vaccinated residents has led New Jersey to relax nearly all of the measure Murphy put in place beginning in March 2020. Just two weeks ago, he ended the public health emergency except for about a dozen executive orders.
On Friday, Murphy reiterated that the pandemic is increasingly becoming a "pandemic of the unvaccinated."
New Jersey was an early hotspot for COVID-19. To date, the state has recorded more than 1 million confirmed or probable COVID cases and more than 26,000 confirmed and probable deaths, according to state data. However, as vaccines went up, the state has seen far lower daily cases and coronavirus-related deaths.
Alongside Murphy from the start of the pandemic has been Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli. On Friday, the "woman who needs no introduction" (as Murphy calls her) was left speechless after Murphy announced that the state's new Department of Health building in Trenton would be named after Persichilli, reported NBC New York.