TRENTON - Governor Phil Murphy lent his support to national public employee leader, Lee Saunders, president of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) who received his COVID-19 booster shot at the Henry J. Austin Health Clinic in Trenton on Thursday morning.
The event was aimed at encouraging those who are eligible to follow suit for the extra layer of protection against the virus.
Though Saunders did give a gleeful “ouch” when he got the Moderna shot from Kimberly Allen, L.P.N., he assured the group gathered that he didn’t feel any pain.
As with the other two vaccine doses, Saunders needed to wait at the center for 15 minutes for monitoring to ensure that he did not experience any immediate side effects of the booster.
Mercer County Executive Brian Hughes was initially only planning on attending the event.
However, when he was told that the Center had the Moderna booster available he quickly pulled out his COVID vaccination card and rolled up his sleeve to get his shot while he was there.
Hughes credited Governor Murphy and the Department of Health for their hard work saying it “wouldn’t have been possible to get the vaccines to as many people” without their help.
He also noted that residents in the City of Trenton were initially only getting vaccinated at a 45 percent. Then the State stepped up efforts which increased the community’s vaccine rate to more than 71 percent.
Throughout Mercer County, Hugh said, the vaccine rate of residents over the age of 18 who are fully vaccinated is now 83 percent.
Murphy himself did not get his Pfizer booster shot since he is not yet eligible under the CDC guidelines that suggest it should be taken six months after the second vaccine dose.
Under Saunders, AFSCME represents more than 1.4 million workers nationwide including nurses, corrections officers, child care providers, and sanitation workers.