Passaic County Residents Urged to Get Covid Booster as County and State Cases Increase
Wednesday Dec. 15th has been designated Boost NJ day, in an effort to get more New Jersey residents vaccinated. Today is the anniversary of the first shot given out in NJ last year.
Vaccination sites across New Jersey are hosting walk-in clinics and are extending their hours.
NJ State health officials said that only 36% of NJ residents have received a booster, of the 73% that qualify. The CDC has recommended everyone 16 and older get a booster shot if it has been at least two months since a one-dose Johnson & Johnson shot or at six months since a two-dose Pfizer or Moderna vaccination.
Health officials warn that all Covid rates have increased in the weeks since Thanksgiving, including case counts, hospitalizations, school outbreaks and student quarantines. According to State data, the number of positive Covid cases have doubled in the last month. This upwards trend is not ideal when heading into winter months, but is still only 1/3 of total cases seen this time last year which officials attribute to vaccinations.
Currently, the positivity rate is 8.02% and the statewide rate of transmission is 1.41. The majority of hospitalizations are among the unvaccinated, with hospitalization currently six times more likely for residents who haven't been vaccinated. Breakthrough cases in vaccinated residents continue to be relatively rare and milder, but are increasing due to waning immunity without a booster shot.
NJ Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli warned that increased transmission will continue in NJ schools if more eligible adults, teens and children don't get vaccinated or boosted when eligible. While current cases are still attributed to the Delta variant, NJ is also seeing an increase in reports of Omicron. The CDC announced that NJ and NY are detecting the omicron variant at 13%, a much higher rate than the 3% U.S. average.
To see the list of vaccination sites participating in Boost NJ day, click here.
Passaic County has a clinic running until 8:00pm for county residents.