By Donald Gilpin
At his first press conference in two weeks, on Monday, August 23, just hours after the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine was fully approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy announced that all school personnel, public and private, from preschool through high school, must be fully vaccinated by October 18 or be subjected to weekly testing. The rule also applies to state employees and faculty and staff at state colleges and universities.
Murphy expressed hope that the FDA approval would encourage people to get vaccinated who had previously been holding off.
The Princeton Health Department reported Monday a total of 14 new COVID-19 cases in the previous seven days and 31 cases in the previous 14 days. Out of Princeton residents age 12 and over, 78 percent have been vaccinated (96 percent of residents 65 and over).
Since July 7 the health department has reported 57 cases of COVID-19 in Princeton, 39 (68.4 percent) of which have been breakthrough cases.
Princeton Health Officer Jeff Grosser, in a memo last week to the town administrator, urged that the return to in-person local government meetings, originally planned for mid-September, be delayed until further notice due to the spread of the Delta variant and rising infection rates.
In the August 23 Princeton Newsletter, the health department stated, “COVID-19 vaccines in the U.S. are highly effective, including against the Delta variant, but they are not 100 percent effective and some fully vaccinated people will become infected (called a breakthrough infection) and experience illness. For such people, the vaccine still provides them strong protection against serious illness and death. Infections happen in only a small proportion of people who are fully vaccinated, even with the Delta variant. However, fully vaccinated people who become infected with the Delta variant can spread the virus to others.”
The Princeton Health Department has announced that, starting September 20, it will begin to offer booster doses to individuals who have had the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine for at least eight months. The Princeton Health Department expects to host regular booster clinics starting in September. More details will be provided soon. more