From the Star Ledger:
Nearly half of all parents polled said they have concerns about the vaccine for their children.
As of Friday morning, about 57% of adults in the state have been fully vaccinated, according to state data. The state has set a goal of having 70% of New Jersey’s 6.9 million adult residents vaccinated by the end of June.
But if 17% of adults say they won’t get inoculated and nearly half of parents aren’t sure, will the state reach herd immunity,which is defined as having a large portion of the population immune to a disease either through vaccination or natural infection?
It’s not a simple question, medical experts said.
Stephanie Silvera, an infectious disease expert and professor at Montclair State University, said herd immunity isn’t an on/off switch, but more of a dimmer.
“The higher percentage of the population that is vaccinated, the lower the probability that someone who is infected will come in contact with someone who is vulnerable,” she said.
She said if another 10% of the adult population that isn’t vaccinated decides to get the vaccine, and if more parents have their children vaccinated, that gets us closer to herd immunity.
“The challenge will be making sure that parents feel safe and comfortable getting their children vaccinated and this will likely require outreach and listening to their concerns so that they can be addressed,” she said.
Johri said the poll’s findings about parents — 43% said they will wait to see how the vaccines work out before getting their child inoculated, 4% said they were not sure, and 53% said they will get their child vaccinated right away — is actually heartening, especially when you take into account the margin of error.