New Jersey expands COVID-19 vaccination eligibility

New Jersey has announced the expansion of the COVID-19 vaccination eligibility. 

The eligibility access will happen in two waves on March 15 and March 29.

Beginning March 15, pre-k through 12 grade educators, childcare workers, public and local transportation workers, public safety workers, migrant farm workers, members of tribal communities, and those experiencing homelessness will be eligible to get their COVID-19 vaccines. 

On March 29, frontline workers in the food industry, remaining elder care workers, elections personnel, medical supply chain workers, hospitality workers, clergy, postal and shipping services, warehouse and logisitics, and social services support staff will be eligible to receive their vaccines. 

The news comes just as the federal government has greenlighted New Jersey-based Johnson & Johnson’s single-shot vaccine.

Murphy said the state will be getting more than 70,000 of the new vaccine this week. He heralded the new vaccine as a "game-changer," but added that it’s unclear how many vaccines the state would be getting weekly in the future.

The decision comes as the state faces more demand than it has supply of the vaccine, and with those 65 and older and ages 16-64 with medical conditions still waiting for appointments.

That’s why the new eligibility dates have been pushed two and four weeks out, the governor said.

As of Monday, New Jersey has surpassed 2 million people getting at least one shot. It took 55 days for the state to reach 1 million shots and just 20 days to climb to 2 million, the governor said.

New Jersey has fully vaccinated nearly 700,000 people. That’s roughly keeping pace with the country as a whole, which has vaccinated a similar percentage of people, roughly 7.7%.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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