TRENTON, N.J. — New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy made several announcements regarding reopenings in the state hoping to see off the end of the coronavirus pandemic Monday, but also made time to note where not enough COVID-19 vaccines were being taken.
As part of his frequent presentations on New Jersey’s fight against the coronavirus, the governor revealed 16 municipalities that, as of Monday, had fewer than 40% of residents with one dose of the vaccine in their arms. All the places listed have a population over 10,000
New Brunswick, a city home to the main campus of Rutgers University with a population just over 55,000, has the lowest percentage of residents who haven’t gotten a shot at 24%. Some of the state’s largest cities are also on the list, including Newark at 38% (population 281,054), Lakewood at 34% (population 102,466), and the state’s capital Trenton at 32% (population 83,412).
“This is not… meant to shame any community, but having these numbers out there for everyone to see is important to ensuring that everyone is working and pulling together,” Murphy said Monday.
The governor announced “Operation Jersey Summer” Monday in an attempt to combat areas with low vaccination rates. This will include mobile vaccination units, further education and the state’s “Shot and a Beer” program, offering a free beer at several pubs across the state for anyone who gets their first shot in May.
“Like any good campaign, we’re also putting an army of boots on the ground safely knocking on doors in communities throughout the state,” Murphy said. “They will work directly in underserved communities, reaching out to residents with information and resources necessary that will help them make the decision to be vaccinated.”
The state’s goal since March has been to have 70% of the New Jersey’s eligible population — about 4.7 million people — vaccinated by the end of June.
Just over 3.3 million people in the state have been fully vaccinated as of Tuesday.
The governor also noted that 86% of those 65 and over in the Garden State had gotten at least one shot.