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New Jersey surpasses 1 million COVID-19 vaccinations statewide

Gov. Phil Murphy says New Jersey has surpassed more than 1 million COVID-19 vaccinations. The governor said Monday that the 1,037,657 doses include both the first and second of two shots.

News 12 Staff

Feb 8, 2021, 11:11 PM

Updated 1,227 days ago

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Gov. Phil Murphy says New Jersey has surpassed more than 1 million COVID-19 vaccinations. The governor said Monday that the 1,037,657 doses include both the first and second of two shots.
But some medical experts are asking if New Jersey should be further along with vaccinations and question if New Jersey will reach herd immunity – 70% vaccinated – by mid-June.
“I’m going to be optimistic and say by the end of the summer, we’ve reached herd immunity,” says Dr. Perry Halkitis with the Rutgers School of Public Health.
Halkitis says that this can happen if 23,000 people are vaccinated per day. New Jersey is currently getting 130,000 doses of the vaccine per day.
“I think we can actually do better than 23,000 doses a day,” he says.
The vaccine supply is being increased by the Biden administration, six mega-sites are up and running in New Jersey, and Johnson & Johnson is promising 100 million doses of its COVID vaccine by June. Plus, President Joe Biden is also sending shipments of the vaccine directly to pharmacies such as CVS and Walgreens. And AstraZeneca may also offer a vaccine.
New Jersey has administered just over 224,000 second of two shots, or about 2.5% of the population. That lags the rate of the country overall, which stands at 2.8%, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“Even with the continued scarcity in supply and the rescheduling caused by snowstorms we have put 500,000 doses in arms in a little over two weeks,” Murphy said.
But Halkitis says that more people should have been vaccinated by now.
“Operation Warp Speed turned into Operation Snail Pace. The rollout was disastrous because there was no stockpile,” he says.
Halkitis says that going forward officials should be paying attention to COVID variants.
“Probably in the future, sometime we will all need a booster because of these variants,” he says.
Companies have confirmed they're already working on booster shots to meet any changes the virus takes on.
The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.


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