By: Michael Mandarino, Follow South Jersey Managing Editor
SOUTH JERSEY — More than one million people have now received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine since the rollout began in late December.
New Jersey crossed the milestone on Monday, and 1,085,595 doses had been administered as of Tuesday morning. Of those, 242,362 people are fully vaccinated after receiving their second dose.
“For those tracking at home — and this trend, I think, is an important one. Our hope is we keep this trend up, the shape of the curve, if not even accelerate it,” Governor Phil Murphy said at his COVID-19 briefing on Monday afternoon.
The state’s first COVID-19 vaccine was administered on December 15. According to Gov. Murphy, it took New Jersey 29 days to reach 250,000 vaccinations after that point, but the state reached half-a-million doses administered just 10 days after that. New Jersey reached the 1,000,000-vaccine milestone 16 days after it totaled 500,000 doses administered.
Gov. Murphy also noted the closures of certain vaccination sites due to recent weather events and how the state is still dealing with a low supply of vaccines during his Monday briefing.
“This is definitely forward progress and it shows how we are working to maximize every dose we received from the federal government to administer the vaccine to those currently eligible, including our seniors,” he said. “It also shows the increased rates of vaccinations by CVS and Walgreens given to the older adults, residents with disabilities, and workers in our long-term care facilities.”
Since its vaccination effort began on December 15, New Jersey has set up hundreds of places where eligible community members can get their vaccine doses. The state has also set up six mega sites at larger hubs like Rowan College of South Jersey’s Gloucester County campus and the Atlantic City Convention Center to further facilitate vaccination efforts. However, the scarcity of supply that Gov. Murphy alluded to has made it difficult for some community members to schedule appointments.
Initially, New Jersey set a goal to vaccinate 70% of its adult population within the rollout’s first six months.
“Make no mistake, while this is a significant milestone, we have a good ways to go to reach our ultimate goal of 4.7 million vaccinated adults by the beginning of summer,” Gov. Murphy said. “I’m in that Memorial Day to Fourth of July window. We are definitely on our way but we need much greater supply to get the vaccination infrastructure we purpose-built from the ground up working to its full potential, especially in the six mega sites that are capable. In the aggregate, those six sites are capable of vaccinating 10,000 to 15,000 people a day.”
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