New Jersey

NJ Hits Vaccine Target Early, ‘Woman Who Needs No Introduction' Gets Honor

New York achieved Gov. Andrew Cuomo's 70% partial adult vaccination milestone earlier this week; most COVID restrictions across businesses and commercial settings were eliminated at that point

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New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy had set a deadline to fully inoculate 4.7 million adult residents with the COVID-19 vaccine by June 30, and, like his colleague across the river, he has achieved that benchmark earlier than expected.

"We have officially crossed 4.7 million individuals by the Department of Health's count, and by the way we are not close to stopping," the Democrat said as he announced the target goal had been hit 12 days before his self-appointed deadline.

That means 70% of the state's adult population is now protected against the virus that has killed more than 26,000 people who call New Jersey home.

Murphy applauded State Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli's commitment to the rollout as the two joined together to make the announcement Friday at University Hospital, the site of New Jersey's first COVID vaccination months ago.

He announced the state's new Department of Health building in Trenton would be named after Persichilli, an honor that earned her a rousing standing ovation.

“Each and every day throughout the pandemic, Judy has remained singularly engaged to save lives and protect public health,” Murphy said. "Now all those who pass through the halls of the ‘Judith M. Persichilli Building’ will be reminded of Judy’s selfless, honorable, and dedicated service to our state and its residents during the greatest public health crisis in New Jersey’s history."

Persichilli is the first nurse and two-time former hospital CEO to serve as New Jersey's health commissioner and has been by Murphy's side, virtually if not physically, at the vast majority of his COVID briefings since the pandemic began.

"We were filled with hope, thought that what we wanted to see happen would actually happen," she said. "Implementing a large-scale vaccination program never before done in our state was challenging, but we never lost sight of our critical mission."

Not sure how the process works? Check out our handy tri-state vaccine site finder and FAQs here

New York City and New Jersey Vaccine Providers

Click on each provider to find more information on scheduling appointments for the COVID-19 Vaccine.

Data: City of New York, State of New Jersey • Nina Lin / NBC

New Jersey ranks sixth among U.S. states in terms of percent total population, which includes those under age 12 who are not yet eligible, with at least one dose (63.1%) and seventh in terms of percent total population fully vaccinated (53.3%), according to the Mayo Clinic. Its core viral numbers have declined to at times all-time pandemic lows as its vaccination numbers have increased.

The state's seven-day average for new confirmed positive COVID-19 tests is down to about 200, a 73% decline from roughly a month ago and an even more significant drop from its January peak.

Hospitalizations are at their lowest total since the state started reporting that metric in the spring of 2020, while daily deaths are in the single digits.

Murphy, in no uncertain terms, has declared the state's ongoing new case counts reflect a pandemic of the unvaccinated: "There is only a pandemic among those who have yet to get their shot," he said at his Wednesday briefing this week.

Murphy is now focusing his efforts on communities with the lowest vaccination rates, as is New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, while New Jersey's mega-sites have begun to close. Murphy has also relaxed a number of coronavirus measures in recent weeks. He signed legislation earlier this month ending the public health emergency and most of the COVID-19 executive orders.

Nearly all remaining COVID restrictions for business and social settings were eliminated in New York earlier this week when the state hit Cuomo's benchmark of partially vaccinating 70% of its adult population.

The New York governor announced Friday another nine pop-up vaccination sites would open at or near early voting locations in low vaccination rate neighborhoods. All of the following are open for walk-ins on a first come, first served basis:

Columbia University Irving Medical Center Russ Berrie Medical Science Pavilion
1150 St. Nicholas Avenue,
New York, NY
Open: Saturday, June 19

SUNY Downstate Medical Center
450 Clarkson Avenue
Brooklyn, NY
Open: Saturday, June 19

Claremont Neighborhood Center
489 East 169th Street
Bronx, NY
Open: Saturday, June 19

Rochdale Village Community Center
169-65 137th Avenue
Queens, NY
Open: Saturday, June 19

Gerard Carter Center
230 Broad Street
Staten Island, NY
Open: Saturday, June 19

Huntington Public Library (Station Branch)
1335 New York Avenue
Huntington Station, NY
Open: Saturday, June 19

Karen B. Johnson Library
99 Clinton Street
Schenectady, NY
Open: Sunday, June 20

Edgerton Recreational Center
41 Backus Street
Rochester, NY
Open: Sunday, June 20

Broadway Market
999 Broadway, Buffalo NY
Open: Friday, June 18

Both New York and New Jersey, along with their Connecticut neighbor, are among more than a dozen states that have hit President Joe Biden's national goal of at least partially vaccinating 70% of their adults by July 4.

Other states continue to lag in administering shots, meaning Biden is on track to fall short of that objective. Roughly 13.6 million Americans would have to get a first dose over the next 18 days to reach that target, according to CNBC.

According to the CDC, 65% of American adults have gotten at least one vaccine dose, while 55.2% are fully vaccinated. Both numbers drop when the entire eligible population (those 12 and up) are considered, to 52.1% and 62%, respectively.

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