Demand for vaccine drops, but Murphy says NJ will still make its target by summer
Not too long ago, getting an appointment for a COVID-19 vaccine in New Jersey seemed almost as hard as winning the lottery.
Over the past several days, the Atlantic City megasite has been allowing people without an appointment to simply walk in and get vaccinated.
“We are seeing demand for the COVID-19 vaccine slowing a bit with more appointments now available to the public,” said Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli during the latest coronavirus update in Trenton on Monday.
She said a vaccination promotional advertising campaign has been launched and “we hope this wider messaging to all audiences who are now eligible will help move them to take action.”
She said along with the ad campaign the state has started to “partner with church leaders and community leaders to create pop-up community vaccination events to bring vaccine closer to where people are.”
Gov. Phil Murphy said the dip in demand for vaccine was expected and the goal is still to vaccinate 70% of the adult population by the end of June.
Murphy said he remains convinced the state will vaccinate 4.7 million people before the Fourth of July.
He noted while many steps are being taken to encourage people to get vaccinated, “we know that for many residents that have not yet made the decision, the most effective outreach will be from family and friends who have gotten successfully vaccinated.”
Murphy noted some people may not be getting vaccinated because “the weather is getting warmer, the numbers are going in the right direction, I feel good I haven’t gotten sick yet — and I say, with all due respect to that, those are not reasons enough.”
Persichilli said if you haven’t been vaccinated yet, now is the time to do so.
“It will not only protect you but it will help us drive down community spread so we can reopen the state further," she said.
You can contact reporter David Matthau at David.Matthau@townsquaremedia.com