Tuesday, June 22, 2021
While New Jersey recently reached its goal to vaccinate 4.7 million or 70% of the adult population before July 1, Atlantic County health officials remind residents of the importance in being fully vaccinated to ensure the greatest protection from getting COVID-19, becoming seriously ill or needing to be hospitalized.
“We’re extremely pleased that approximately 62% of eligible individuals in Atlantic County have received at least one dose and 54% of them are now fully vaccinated,” stated County Executive Dennis Levinson. “We continue to work to get shots in arms of those eligible and to stress the importance of receiving both doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.”
According to the federal Centers for Disease Control, the Pfizer vaccine is 80% effective with one dose but increases to 90% or higher with two doses. The second shots serve as booster shots and allow the immune system to retain memory of the virus for a longer period of time to fight its effects.
Public Health Officer Patricia Diamond noted some individuals may miss their second shots due to scheduling conflicts, a belief that one dose is sufficient or fear of potential side effects.
“Side effects may include fatigue, headache or low-grade fever but they are temporary and typically manageable with rest and over-the-counter pain reducers,” she said.
Recent studies in the United Kingdom found two doses of the Pfizer vaccine to be 96% effective against hospitalization from the Delta variant that was first identified in India and has now become the predominant strain in the UK.
The CDC has upgraded the Delta variant from a “variant of interest” to a “variant of concern.” It is now identified in 66 countries including the U.S.
NJ Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli noted that those who are unvaccinated are at greater risk for infection of variants.
The state will be sending vaccine ambassadors to various counties and towns to bring information and vaccine education to residents.
“Completing the vaccine regimen will provide the best protection against COVID-19 and its variants,” stated Diamond.
For locations of vaccine providers throughout New Jersey, visit covid19.nj.gov/finder.