New data from the state shows Bridgeton has one of the lowest COVID-19 vaccination rates for municipalities of at least 10,000 people.
Gov. Phil Murphy on Monday said in 16 municipalities, fewer than 40% of eligible residents have received at least one dose of vaccine.
At the time of the governor’s coronavirus briefing, Bridgeton had a rate of 37%. The highest of the 16 lowest was Passaic with 39%, while the lowest was New Brunswick with 24%.
Cumberland County Deputy Administrator Jody Hirata said outreach efforts are in the works to increase community vaccinations.
“The county strongly believes that education and outreach into the community will assist with more residents getting the vaccine,” Hirata said.
Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 15% of Cumberland County residents are hesitant to be vaccinated. Atlantic and Cape May counties are both at 13% hesitancy.
The county is offering vaccinations by appointment or walk-in every Tuesday and Thursday at the Fire Training Center at 634 Vineland Ave., Bridgeton. Three popup vaccination sites are planned in Fairfield Township (May 10), Maurice River Township (May 12) and Commercial Township (May 8).
Additionally, the county has begun outreach to homebound residents and is working with the Department of Aging and Disability Services “to ensure that the older population has easy access to vaccinations and scheduling along with transportation,” Hirata said.
Murphy said state officials are “deepening our engagement” with local officials to improve numbers statewide.
“This is not going to be a competition between towns and communities, or meant to shame any community to the contrary,” Murphy said Monday during the briefing in Trenton. “But having these numbers out there for everyone to see is important to ensuring that everyone is working and pulling together.”
Following this data, Murphy announced Operation: Jersey Summer, an initiative to increase vaccine awareness through multimedia engagement, continued walk-in appointment availability and a “Shot & A Beer” campaign that will see participating bars offer free beer to residents of age upon receiving their first dose.
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