NJ Exceeds Goal of Fully Vaccinating 4.7M Individuals

This past December, some 286 days after New Jersey recorded its first case of COVID-19, the first vaccine dose was administered in the state at University Hospital in Newark. Today, New Jersey celebrates exceeding its goal of fully vaccinating 4.7 million individuals who live, work, or study in New Jersey nearly two weeks before its original target date of June 30.

“It was one of the most aggressive goals in the country,” Gov. Phil Murphy said today upon returning to University Hospital to celebrate the milestone. “We are excited to be reaching this initial goal, but we are not about to let up. Through operation Jersey Summer we are going to continue to reach deep into every community to push even higher.”

So far, in addition to more than 1,500 vaccine distribution sites across the state, New Jersey’s six vaccine mega-sites have administered more than 2 million doses and have fully vaccinated more than 1 million individuals, about 25% of all those who have been vaccinated.

Murphy added that much of the robust vaccine infrastructure that has been built over the past year will be kept in place in the event that it is needed again in the future for additional doses. 

“Since we vaccinated the first person in New Jersey, we’ve made so much progress on this campus towards the milestone we celebrate today,” said Shereef Elnahal, president and CEO of University Hospital. “More than 20,000 people from our community were vaccinated right here on this campus. And, that is to say nothing about the vaccinations that our incredible team at University Hospital enabled elsewhere, including at the FEMA site just blocks away from us at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, which delivered more than 200,000 shots to people across the region.”

Murphy specifically thanked State Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli for her work throughout the pandemic and announced that the new Department of Health building in downtown Trenton will be named after the health commissioner in honor of her “past and ongoing service to the people of New Jersey during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“Each and every day throughout the pandemic, Judy has remained singularly engaged to save lives and protect public health,” Murphy said. “She has been the right leader for these times, and I could not be prouder to have asked her to serve as commissioner two years ago. Now all those who pass through the halls of the ‘Judith M. Persichilli Building’ will be reminded of Judy’s selfless, honorable, and dedicated service to our state and its residents during the greatest public health crisis in New Jersey’s history.”

“The credit for the success of this vaccination program goes well beyond the Department of Health. There are thousands of people who made this day possible and it starts with our governor,” Persichilli said. “We could not have made this progress without the federal, state and local community partners who have stood beside us along the way. Most importantly, we are grateful for all of those who rolled up their sleeves and got vaccinated.”

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