Gov. Phil Murphy has repeatedly reminded New Jerseyans that public health creates economic health. For a time, the only tools we had to fight the COVID-19 pandemic were behavioral — wear masks, stay six feet apart, don’t gather in large numbers indoors. Now, though, we have three safe and effective vaccines available and those shots are starting to go into residents’ arms. The process has been slow, with demand far outstripping supply, but the pace has been quickening and by some estimates, we are just months away from getting back at least some measure of our normal lives — if people actually take the vaccines. Chris Maher, the CEO of OceanFirst Bank, understands the public health and economic imperative of getting vaccines out to as many New Jerseyans as possible and convincing them to get the shot.
And he’s been speaking out about the issue, for example, in the latest edition of NJBIZ Conversations. Maher explained why he thinks the state’s leaders, including those in the business community, need to carry the vaccine message to the wider public.
“If we don’t get enough people vaccinated, it really doesn’t help any of us,” he said. “And you can see that in the rise of these new variants, So if you have millions and tens of millions of cases and you let the virus just run, it will change and morph, it’ll make it even harder for us to control it. When you think about the public health emergency which has caused all sorts of other issues beyond just that — we’ve got economic issues, we have mental health issues in our community, think about the impact to our school children — it’s really important that we get through this together that we get on the other side of the pandemic and we start to be able to heal all the folks that have been negatively impacted. And I think the vaccines are probably the best chance of getting that done quickly and effectively.”
Watch the full interview HERE.