16 municipalities of more than 10K have vaccinated fewer than 40% of their residents

Murphy: Increasing outreach to these communities will be priority

Newark is at 38%. Trenton and Camden are at 32%. New Brunswick is at a state-low 24%.

Gov. Phil Murphy tried to make it clear Monday: The state is not attempting to shame the areas where residents are getting vaccinated the least. But he said releasing the data of all municipalities that have a population over 10,000 but fewer than 40% of residents vaccinated will draw attention — and resources — to the problem.

Murphy said the state will continue to announce the list, moving forward. He said releasing hyperlocal data will give local officials and community leaders a clear look into what’s happening in their neighborhoods so they can focus on lagging areas.

“Now, to be sure, this is not going to be a competition between towns and communities, or meant to shame any community,” he said. “But having these numbers out there for everyone to see is important to ensuring that everyone is working and pulling together.”

Here are the 16 municipalities on the list:

  • New Brunswick: 24%
  • Irvington: 29%
  • Phillipsburg: 29%
  • Camden: 32%
  • East Orange: 32%
  • Pemberton: 32%
  • Perth Amboy: 32%
  • Trenton: 32%
  • Lakewood: 34%
  • Fairview: 36%
  • Orange: 36%
  • Bridgeton: 37%
  • Plainfield: 37%
  • Newark: 38%
  • Garfield: 39%
  • Passaic: 39%

Murphy said the state is doing more than just releasing numbers. He said the state will put “an army of boots” on the ground, knocking on doors.

“They will work directly in underserved communities, reaching out to residents with information and resources necessary that will help them make the decision to be vaccinated,” he said.

In addition, he said the state’s call center, through the Department of Health, has been proactively reaching out to residents who preregistered for vaccinations but who have yet to make their appointment.

“And they are connecting them directly with live operators to help them make that critical vaccine appointment,” he said.

As of Monday morning, the state has fully vaccinated 3.1 million residents. It estimates another 156,000 has been vaccinated in another state, bringing the overall total to 3,268,958. Murphy is hoping to get the state to 4.7 million by the end of June.

Murphy, who announced the state will essentially reopen May 19, said increasing the number of people vaccinated is the biggest way the state can get return to normal.

“While our COVID numbers are going down, there is one thing we can do above all else to ensure that these numbers keep going down, especially as we reopen further — and that is to get vaccinated,” he said. “Every single activity that (is part of the reopening) is substantially safer if you are vaccinated than if you are unvaccinated.”