TRENTON – The pace of New Jerseyans getting first COVID vaccinations has increased over the last two weeks, as concerns have grown about the Delta variant of the coronavirus.

More than 141,000 state residents got first shots of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or the sole shot of the Janssen vaccine between July 20 and Aug. 2, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That’s the most in a 2-week span since June and up 42% since July 4.

Most states have seen increases in vaccine administration, though the biggest jumps are generally in states with lagging vaccination rates.

Over those two weeks, 1.6% of New Jersey residents received first COVID vaccine doses, pushing the overall share of the population that’s at least partially vaccinated to 66.2%. That’s seventh-highest in the country behind Vermont, Massachusetts, Hawaii, Connecticut, Maine and Rhode Island.

Eleven states increased first-vaccine doses by more than 1.6% of their population in the last two weeks, but only one of those – California, with 65.1% at least partially vaccinated – approximates New Jersey’s overall vaccine uptake.

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The 10 states where the largest share of residents got first vaccines since July 20 are Kansas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Florida, Missouri, Alabama, Texas, Nevada, Mississippi and Oklahoma. Of those, Florida has the highest first-shot share at 58.2% of residents. Six of the 10 still have less than half of residents vaccinated.

Michael Symons is State House bureau chief for New Jersey 101.5. Contact him at michael.symons@townsquaremedia.com.

LOOK: Answers to 30 common COVID-19 vaccine questions

While much is still unknown about the coronavirus and the future, what is known is that the currently available vaccines have gone through all three trial phases and are safe and effective. It will be necessary for as many Americans as possible to be vaccinated in order to finally return to some level of pre-pandemic normalcy, and hopefully these 30 answers provided here will help readers get vaccinated as soon they are able.

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