NJ vaccination effort changes focus as demand slows down

New Jersey

NORTH BERGEN, N.J. — The numbers continue to trend in the right direction in New Jersey.

It’s where officials are now investing major resources to get more residents vaccinated as demand appears to be plummeting. From pop-up clinics to mobile units, the vaccination effort is taking on a community approach statewide.

“Let’s keep our eye on the finish line,” said Gov. Phil Murphy. “This is a marathon, and we’ve now passed the 20-mile mark”

Murphy vowing not to slow down as the Garden State sees a significant decline in vaccine demand. New Jersey saw its peak of inoculations at the beginning of April, where more than 120,000 shots were administered in one day. Now, the daily doses have plummeted to roughly 40,000 a day.
 
The drop in demand is now leaving some mega sites which saw a surge of foot traffic just a month ago empty and soon closing their doors, including one massive site in Livingston.

Gov. Murphy insists this was always part of the plan.

“This is going to get increasingly localized, community specific, get into all the crevasses and corners of the state,” Murphy said.

The statewide initiative “Operation: Jersey Summer” was announced earlier in the week — will zero in on those communities where vaccine hesitancy is prevailing. 

With 3.3 million residents now fully vaccinated, the state is now in reach of its ambitious goal of 4.7 million adults by the end of June.

But if demand does not pick up in counties like Passaic, Union and Essex, where the vaccination rate is below 30%, the timeline may be in jeopardy.

“Today. remember we are in the top handful of American states with the efficiency of getting does into people’s arms,” the governor added.

Meanwhile, Hudson County — which had been lagging statewide in vaccine supply — has seen a dramatic surge in demand, where 51% of adults have now received at least one dose. 

A huge turnaround for the county which had struggled to increase its supply.

Officials in Hudson County have taken an innovative approach to connect with the community, hosting walk-up vaccination clinics at local parks. The next one is happening Thursday at Braddock Park in North Bergen in coordination with the mayor and county commissioner.

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