Jersey COVID-19 cases 'a pandemic right now of unvaccinated people,' says Murphy

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy.
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy. Photo credit Bennett Raglin/Getty Images

TRENTON (KYW Newsradio) — New Jersey health officials say so-called “breakthrough” cases of vaccinated people contracting COVID-19 are extremely rare, and they’re continuing to urge residents to get the shot.

Governor Phil Murphy says the majority of those contracting COVID-19 now are people who have not been vaccinated.

“It is quite obvious that this is a pandemic right now of unvaccinated people. Overwhelmingly,” Murphy said Wednesday at a coronavirus briefing in Trenton.

More than 4 million people in New Jersey are fully vaccinated, and 5 million have received at least one dose.

The governor’s goal is to vaccinate 70% of the eligible adults by the end of the month. 61% are fully vaccinated now.

Murphy said there’s no reason to for people to fear the vaccine.

“We owe that to people to make sure that you know what the facts are and the risks associated with not being vaccinated. Do they exist if you’re vaccinated?  Yes.  But they are literally de minimis,” he said.

New Jersey Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli said among the more than 2 million people who were vaccinated before April 23, there were only 1,319 COVID cases. That’s better than a 99.9 percent success rate.

“This high percentage demonstrates that breakthrough infections are extremely rare,” Persichilli said.

Persichilli said no matter when people received their first dose, they should still get the second.

“If you’re outside the 21 or 28-day window, we still encourage you," Persichilli said.

"You can get a second dose at any current point of dispensing. You do not have to go back to the original place where you got your first dose.”

Murphy also said the vaccination rates were improving among the ten large cities where half or fewer of the residents are inoculated.

Camden, he said, is up to 48% vaccinated; Glassboro is at 49% and Bridgeton has improved to 50%.

Murphy said outreach efforts in those municipalities would continue, but he said the recent progress in those towns “has been meaningful.”​