1 million and counting: Vaccination milestone on road to reopening — NJ Top News 3/15
New Jersey will surpass a vaccination milestone this week.
This week, a million New Jersey residents will have what is considered a full immunity from the virus that causes COVID-19, having received their second doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines. New Jersey will also pass 3 million total vaccination doses in total.
It's a significant milestone on the road to a full reopening of the Garden State this summer. The goal is to vaccinate 4.7 million adults, or 70% of the adult population. That is the target set by Gov. Phil Murphy to lift remaining restrictions. But even with a million fully vaccinated, it is just 21%. New Jersey will need a significant increase in vaccine supply to come close to meeting the goal.
Effective today, more people are eligible to schedule their vaccinations. Among the new groups included in priority access: transportation workers, public safety personnel, migrant farm workers and the homeless. Teachers gained eligibility last week, and several towns have set up special vaccination clinics for teachers and staff to accelerate the reopening of schools.
Meanwhile, talk is continuing about how to discern between the vaccinated and the unvaccinated. Murphy says he is open to the idea a "vaccination passport." The passport would document that you have been fully immunized against COVID-19 and could be used to gain access to things like concerts, sporting events, shows and possibly for travel.
New Jersey COVID medical advisor, Dr. Eddie Bresnitz, says the passport might be more effective at stopping the spread of the virus than temperature checks. However, Murphy expressed concern about forgeries and Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli cautioned we don't know how long vaccine protections will last.
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