Murphy: This is pandemic of unvaccinated individuals

Gov. Phil Murphy, in what some would consider a straightforward, tough-love approach to why people should get vaccinated, said the numbers indicate that the people still testing positive for COVID-19 are those who are not vaccinated.

“I cannot put it any more succinctly: We have a pandemic again among unvaccinated residents, not among the vaccinated,” he said.

Murphy, speaking at his COVID-19 briefing Monday, said statistics show that those who are vaccinated are safe against variants, too.

Murphy said the numbers show conclusively that vaccines are 99.94% effective against infection and are 99.999986% effective against illness requiring hospitalizations. He said that, of all new cases between Dec. 15 (when the state began vaccinating) and April 23, only 0.06% of the cases came from vaccinated individuals.

Murphy said the vaccines are proving to be effective against all variants, including the Delta variant, which has proven to be the most easily transmitted.

“The vaccines work,” he said. “They are safe.”

Murphy made his plea despite the fact that the state is near the top of various lists detailing the percentage of residents who have gotten at least one shot of the vaccine or are fully vaccinated. As of Monday morning, the state reported that 4,564,662 people were vaccinated.

That doesn’t mean the state has achieved herd immunity or is beyond the point where vaccines are necessary. Far from it.

Murphy said the state was reporting that 361 people were in the hospital because of COVID-19, including 54 on ventilators. There were five additional deaths, too.

In addition, 260 new cases were announced. Murphy found that most discouraging, as they may have been preventable.

“Suffice it to say, these 260 cases that we’re reporting today should be considered to be almost entirely, if not exclusively, from unvaccinated individuals,” he said.

“This is becoming, increasingly by the day, a pandemic of unvaccinated individuals.”