BERKELEY TOWNSHIP- If you want a free glass of wine, a dinner with Gov. Phil Murphy or a free pass to state parks in New Jersey this summer, you will need to get vaccinated. 

Speaking from Island Beach State Park in Berkeley Township, the governor announced three new initiatives in the hopes of encouraging residents to get a coronavirus vaccine as the state nears its goal of vaccinating 4.7 million individuals by July 1. As of Wednesday, 3.9 million individuals have been fully vaccinated.

 “Please go out and get vaccinated, today we’ve given you three more reasons to step up and be a part of the state-wide army that is chancing this virus down and is making COVID history,” Gov. Murphy said on Wednesday.

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Nine wineries have stepped up to participate in the state’s “Uncork the Vaccination” initiative, allowing New Jerseyan 21 and over who gets vaccinated in May can go to any of the wineries for a free glass of wine. 

Every New Jerseyan who gets their first shot before the end of May is eligible to win a private dinner with the governor and the first lady at the Drumthwacket, the historic residence of New Jersey governors located in Princeton. 

“Vax and Visit” initiative allows those who have been vaccinated to get a free pass to any New Jersey state park. Passes will be good for the rest of the 2021 season, in which state parks charge for visits between Memorial Day Weekend and Labor Day Weekend. Online registration is required. More information is available on the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s website. 

“We’ve got this virus on the run, so let’s get everyone into our parks to go on a run,” Shawn M. LaTourette, acting commissioner of the NJDEP, said on Wednesday. 

The new initiative is part of the state’s Operation Jersey Summer, which aims to encourage New Jerseyans to get a vaccination. The state already announced its Shot for a Beer program, which allows those who get a jab to get a free beer at participating breweries. 

“We are pulling out all the stops to make this summer the best summer ever,” the governor said. 

Since last year, 884,221 new Jerseyans have contracted COVID-19, with 23,370 succumbing to the virus. 

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