Mayor, doctors to Brick residents: get vaccinated, get back to normal

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Dr. Ajay Mathur, an infectious disease specialist, speaks at a press conference in Brick on May 19. PHOTO BY DANIELLA HEMINGHAUS

BRICK TOWNSHIP — Only a few months ago, those eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine struggled to book an appointment. Now, nearly anyone can walk into a health-care provider and get the jab  –  but not enough people are, according to Brick Township government and hospital officials.

Mayor John G. Ducey and local medical professionals urged Brick’s residents to get vaccinated at a press conference held at Ocean Medical Center on Wednesday. Their shared message: getting the vaccine means getting back to normal.

“Our Ocean County towns are all well behind the state’s goal of 70 percent of the state’s population being fully vaccinated,” Mayor Ducey said.

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Only 33 percent of Brick’s vaccine-eligible population is fully vaccinated, although 43 percent of residents have received at least one dose, according to the mayor.

“That 33 percent, we really need to get higher,” he said. “As we heard the governor talk last Friday, we’re one of six states … that still has an indoor mask mandate.”

Gov. Phil Murphy’s May 14 comments followed new guidance released by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], which recommends fully vaccinated individuals no longer be required to wear masks indoors or outdoors. Gov. Murphy said New Jersey will adopt the recommendation, once 70 percent of the state’s population is fully vaccinated [an individual is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose, or first dose if the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine was administered].

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