NEW JERSEY (WABC) -- New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy pleaded with residents to get vaccinated Monday at his weekly COVID briefing, saying nearly all new cases and deaths are among the unvaccinated.
He also said that at the present time, there are no plan to reinstate a mask mandate despite case numbers that are creeping up and the spread of the more transmissible Delta variant.
"We continue to be comfortable where we are, but we watch this like a hawk," he said. "Our strong, strong preference is to not go back."
Murphy said the state has analyzed breakthrough cases, reporting a total of 3,474 confirmed cases in 4.4 million fully vaccinated people through June 28.
That number indicates the vaccine is 99.92% effective at preventing transmission, Murphy said.
He said 84 vaccinated individuals required hospitalization (99.998% effective), while 31 have passed away (99.9993% effective).
"These numbers speak for themselves," Murphy said. "We only have a pandemic among the unvaccinated. Everyone ages 12 and up who is eligible should go and get vaccinated."
As of Monday, 5,175,076 individuals who live, work, or study in New Jersey are now fully vaccinated.
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The positivity rate, however, has ticked up to 2.5%, and Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli said there has been a 20% increase of unvaccinated patients in hospitals. Another concern is new infections in young children.
"When we look at the data from June 12 compared to data from last week, case rates per 100,000 have increased 29% among those 4 years of age and under," Persichilli said. "For those 5 to 10 years of age, the case rate has increased 15%. For those 11 to 13 years of age, case rates per 100,000 have increased 36%. This is troubling, because those under 12 cannot be vaccinated yet."
There have been a total of 23,827 COVID-related deaths in the state, plus an additional 2,718 probable deaths.
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