NJ Hits 1M Full Vaccinations, With More People Eligible

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) -
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy. (AP Photo/Noah K. Murray, File)

New Jersey has reached one million people fully vaccinated against COVID-19, the state’s online data dashboard showed on Monday.

Just over 3 million people have had at least one of the two-shot vaccines, according to the state Health Department site.

Gov. Phil Murphy had also set Monday as the eligibility date for teachers and other school staff, but they got bumped up to earlier in March because of guidance from the Biden administration.

New Jersey’s vaccination rate is slightly better than the national average, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Twenty-one percent of the country has had at least one shot, with 11.3% fully vaccinated, according to the CDC. In New Jersey 23.9% have had at least one shot, with 12.2% fully vaccinated, according to the CDC.

The milestone comes the same day New Jersey expanded vaccine eligibility to include transportation workers, members of tribal communities, the homeless, migrant farm workers and childcare workers.

Murphy has set a six-month goal to inoculate 70% of the state’s adult population, or about 4.7 million people. Vaccinations began in December, so that puts the deadline in June. Murphy and Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli have expressed optimism that they’ll meet their deadline.

In a tweet, Murphy, a first-term Democrat seeking reelection this year, noted that it took just two weeks to climb from 2 million people getting at least one shot to 3 million. That’s quicker than the 20 days it took to climb to 2 million from 1 million and shorter than the 55 days required to hit 1 million.

“We’re vaccinating New Jerseyans as quickly and equitably as possible,” Murpy said in a tweet Monday. The first-term Democratic governor has said he expects vaccine supplies to pickup drastically by about Easter, which is April 4.