NJ again hits COVID vaccine target – for real this time, sort of
TRENTON – More than 4.7 million New Jersey adults have gotten fully vaccinated to protect against COVID-19, reaching the state’s goal though not until a few days after a self-imposed June 30 deadline.
If this sounds familiar, that’s because Gov. Phil Murphy celebrated the achievement prematurely on June 18, when the state got to 4.7 million people in total, including residents ages 12 through 17 who weren’t technically part of the math behind the goal.
Data compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is a little more detailed than what the state Department of Health makes public, and it showed 4.7 million residents age 18 and older had been vaccinated in the update posted July 4, which reflected vaccinations reported through 6 a.m. that day.
Murphy often describes the 4.7 million goal as the equivalent of 70% of adults in New Jersey – but it’s not. That math works when using the 2010 Census, now more than 11 years ago. If the state used 2019 Census Bureau estimates, rather than decade-old data, the 70% target would have been 4.86 million.
The 4,702,753 New Jersey adults fully vaccinated as of July 4 amounts to 67.7% of adults, using the 2019 estimate.
The overall number of residents of any age who are fully vaccinated is approaching 4.95 million, the CDC data shows, which is 55.7% of the total population and 64.9% of those who are 12 years or older and therefore vaccine-eligible.
The state’s vaccine totals are now higher than the CDC figures, showing about 5.05 million residents who are fully vaccinated, including 4.9 million in New Jersey and over 150,000 out-of-state.
Even the 2019 estimates don’t accurately reflect the current population, as last year’s Census counted 406,623 more people than had been estimated to live in New Jersey a year earlier. Details about how many are adults won’t be available until later this summer, but it’s likely that the 70%-of-adults target would actually be close to 5.1 million.
Michael Symons is State House bureau chief for New Jersey 101.5. Contact him at email@example.com.