Four Million New Jerseyans Now Fully Vaccinated Against COVID-19

By: Michael Mandarino, Follow South Jersey Managing Editor

SOUTH JERSEY — New Jersey’s COVID-19 dashboard reported that, as of Sunday, 4,071,073 New Jerseyans are fully inoculated against COVID-19.

The state has administered a total of 8,364,404 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine models, and 4,768,592 New Jersey residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine models. Crucially, New Jersey is now within 700,000 people of achieving its goal of fully vaccinating 4.7 million people, which represents about 70% of the state’s adult population.

In addition to the vaccinations of adults in the state, New Jersey’s effort to inoculate those aged 12-17 is well underway. Recently, the CDC authorized use of Pfizer’s two-dose COVID-19 vaccine model in adolescents, and New Jersey quickly followed suit by opening up its vaccination efforts to those aged 12-17. As of Sunday, the state had administered 62,250 COVID-19 vaccine doses to those aged 12-15 and 120,303 doses to community members aged 16-17.

As of May 24, the vast majority of New Jersey’s COVID-19 restrictions, including capacity limits at restaurants and other indoor businesses, had been lifted. The state’s most significant rollback of restrictions took place on May 19, but one particular safety measure was still kept in effect that day. New Jersey hasn’t lifted its indoor mask mandate yet — though it lifted the mask mandate for outdoor public settings on May 17.

The state is expected to lift its indoor mask mandate prior to Memorial Day, according to a report by Governor Phil Murphy received plenty of public backlash after announcing that New Jersey’s indoor mask mandate would remain in place despite the CDC’s updated guidance for vaccinated individuals, which stated that it’s safe for those who have been inoculated to go maskless in most public settings. When Gov. Murphy announced that the outdoor mask mandate would be lifted in New Jersey, he said that he anticipated lifting New Jersey’s indoor mask mandate in “the not-so-distant future.”

“Even though those who are unvaccinated should continue to exercise caution, today I will sign an executive order eliminating the outdoor mask mandate altogether in settings open to the public,” Gov. Murphy said on May 17. “However, there remains a simple reason why the indoor mask requirement will remain in effect. While we have made tremendous progress, we are not out of the woods yet. The majority of New Jerseyans are still unvaccinated, and we’re not checking anyone’s vaccine status at the door when you go to the supermarket or to a hardware store, for instance.”

Even with its updated guidance, the CDC still advises vaccinated people wear masks while traveling on planes, trains, and buses along with high-risk settings such as prisons, hospitals, and nursing homes. Unvaccinated people should continue to wear masks in most public indoor settings.

New York and Pennsylvania immediately began following the CDC’s updated guidance when it was released two weeks ago. They’ve been relying on a more laissez-faire approach to enforcing mask-wearing, which has mostly taken place through the honor system in those states.

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