In a push to get more New Jerseyans vaccinated against COVID-19, the state Department of Health has created a map to show vaccination rates by town and has been actively publicizing the names of the towns where it feels vaccination rates are lagging.
Verona’s vaccination rate is not the highest in Essex County, but we’re not doing badly: According to the state map, 63% of Verona’s population has received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, a percentage that rises to 82% among Veronans age 65 or older. Fifty percent of Verona residents are fully vaccinated, a percentage that rises to 73% for those 65 or older. Eighteen Verona residents have died of COVID-19 since data began to be kept last year and, as of yesterday, 991 Veronans have tested positive for COVID-19, according to Essex County data.
Verona lags behind Cedar Grove in vaccinations but is ahead of Montclair and Caldwell. In Cedar Grove, 66% of the residents have had one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and 50% are fully vaccinated. In Montclair, 62% of the residents have gotten one shot and 46% are fully vaccinated. In Caldwell, 61% of the population has had one shot, but only 45% are fully vaccinated. The state data map does not break out which of the three available COVID-19 vaccines a town has had.
Livingston has the highest percentage of people in an Essex County town who have gotten at least one shot–80%–and all of its residents age 65 or older have gotten one dose. Some 60% of Millburn residents are completely vaccinated and that percentage rises to 90% among its senior citizens. In Millburn, 73% of the population has had one dose, and the state data indicates that all Millburn residents who are 65 or older have gotten at least one shot. Fifty-six percent of Millburn residents are fully vaccinated, but 88% of those 65 and older are.
Vaccination rates lag in Essex County’s poorer towns. In Irvington, only 24% of the population has had one dose and only 17% are fully vaccinated. In Newark, 33% of the population has had one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and only 23% are fully vaccinated.
According to NJSpotlight.com, an independent news website that covers health and politics, vaccination rates in some municipalities have risen since Gov. Phil Murphy began putting a spotlight on local vaccination rates. Murphy said Monday that the percentage of New Brunswick, Perth Amboy and Trenton residents vaccinated residents has risen by six points since he drew attention to their low immunization rates last week.
Murphy also unveiled a plan to get residents vaccinated against COVID-19 called Operation Jersey Summer. The goal is to have 4.7 million people fully vaccinated by July, up from about 3.5 million now. NJSpotlight says, however, that the pace of vaccinations has slowed significantly in recent weeks. Daily doses had dropped to around 50,000 by the end of last week, down from a peak of more than 120,000 in early April.