Efforts continue to get as many Garden State residents vaccinated as possible.

According to the latest New Jersey Health Department data, 3.86 million people who live, work or go to school in the state are now fully vaccinated.

Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli said while the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have been found to be 95% effective, that does not actually mean you have a 5% chance of getting the disease if you are vaccinated.

Gov. Phil Murphy said last Thursday, after the CDC expanded eligibility for younger kids to receive the Pfizer COVID vaccine ,“we received reports of lines in fact at some sites, including our megasites, as the first tranche of the 12 to 15 year old group arrived with their parents and guardians.”

Persichilli said nearly 22,000 12- to 15-year-olds have received their first dose. There are 457,000 residents in the state in that age group.

She said vaccine progress is being made among all age groups with 86% of those 65 and older receiving at least their first dose. Older people and those with underlying medical conditions are more susceptible to COVID's most serious symptoms.

Among those 50 to 64, 71% have been vaccinated.

Among those 30 to 49, 44% have been vaccinated.

Among those 18 to 29, 28% have been vaccinated.

Among those 16 and 17, 28% have been vaccinated.

She said in order to increase the number of people getting vaccinated, members of the COVID Community Corp. have recently been sent to Newark, East Orange, Perth Amboy, New Brunswick and Passaic.

“They are going out to under-served communities to provide education, help with registration and access to vaccination sites,” she said.

New Jersey also has a “Shot and a Beer” program, allowing adults who get vaccinated this month to receive a free glass of beer at one of more than two dozen participating breweries across the state.

Last December the governor set a goal of getting 70% of eligible residents vaccinated by the end of June, a target he has repeatedly said the state will reach.

You can contact reporter David Matthau at David.Matthau@townsquaremedia.com

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