The New Jersey towns with have COVID vaccination rates all have one thing in common — as do all the places with lower turnout thus far.
The place with the highest inoculation rate in the state is Livingston, in Essex County. More than 85 percent of the town's adult population is fully vaccinated, well ahead of Gov. Phil Murphy's goal of having 70 percent done by the end of June.
In fact, due to reporting oddities, the state found that 104 percent of eligible Livingston residents had been vaccinated, an obvious impossibility. But even with it's more accurate number of 85 percent, it's best in the state (apart from tiny Teterboro, which has a population just barely in the triple digits).
Not far behind are four other communities: Millburn, Paramus, Haddonfield and West Windsor. What do all those towns have in common? All are considered economically well-off, and likely have greater access to vaccination centers as compared to those in cities.
At the bottom of the list for vaccinations, four municipalities with large income disparities: New Brunswich, Irvington, Phillipsburg, Pemberton and East Orange. Those communities each have around 40 percent vaccination rates.
The good news is that information can help the state determine where to concentrate efforts in order to hit that 70 percent threshold.
"Reaching our 70 percent goal by June 30th is a key benchmark for us, We know that in our hard-to-reach neighborhoods, we will have to push a little more, maybe a lot more, to bring the resources in," Murphy said.
The easy part of getting shots in arms of those who are searching for the vaccine is over, as many placed offer walk-ins and still aren't using their daily dose supplies. There are still several hundred thousand doses to go to meet the governor's goal.
"We need approximately 280,000 first doses administered weekly this month," said state Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli.
Vaccination rates for those age 18-29 are lower than desired, officials say. In New Jersey, where that age group represents just 11 percent of the more than 7.6 million total doses administered in the state, Murphy hopes incentives like a beer and a shot (for those of legal drinking age) will be a lure.
He also didn't rule out the idea of handing out straight cash to get people in the vaccine line, saying Friday, "All options are on the table. We're going to do what it takes to get our folks vaccinated."
The governor also said Monday that if vaccination rates are high enough by the fall, Metlife Stadium will be able to open at full capacity for Giants and Jets games.