New Jersey to Expand COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility to All Residents Aged 55 & Older

By: Michael Mandarino, Follow South Jersey Managing Editor

Prior to receiving her first COVID-19 vaccination, Danielle Davis (left) and Governor Phil Murphy great each other with an elbow bump. The Governor’s visit was to mark the start of vaccine eligibility for educators and childcare professionals at the Rowan College of South Jersey COVID-19 Mega Vaccination Site in Deptford, NJ on March 6, 2021. Davis is a specialized program assistant at Bankbridge Regional School in Deptford, N.J.

TRENTON, N.J. — On Friday afternoon, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy announced that his state will expand its COVID-19 vaccine eligibility requirements effective April 5.

People who fall into the following categories will become eligible to make appointments to get vaccinated on the first Monday of April:

  • All residents aged 55 and older
  • Individuals aged 16 and older who have intellectual/developmental disabilities
  • Higher education educators/support staff
  • Communications, IT, and press members
  • Real estate, building, and home service workers
  • Retail financial institution workers
  • Sanitation/laundry service workers
  • Utility workers
  • Librarians and library support staff

Although eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine will expand on April 5, New Jersey is still lagging behind other states in the country regarding who can get a shot in their arm. Several states — including Connecticut, Maryland, and California — either have allowed or will allow all adult residents to sign up for the vaccine at some point during the month of April. Many states are rushing to expand their vaccine eligibility as President Joe Biden set a goal to make all adults in the nation eligible to receive the vaccine by May 1.

According to New Jersey’s COVID-19 dashboard, 3,798,523 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered as of 9 a.m. on Friday. Of those doses, 1,357,829 were either the single-shot Johnson & Johnson model or the second shot of Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccine models, meaning those people are fully vaccinated. New Jersey has administered 500,000 doses of the vaccine in each of the last three full weeks, and a strong weekend of vaccinating the community could lead to a fourth consecutive week with half-a-million doses administered statewide.

New Jersey reported more than 4,000 new COVID-19 cases statewide today for the first time since late January. Gov. Murphy previously said that the state won’t expand its COVID-19-related restrictions on gatherings and businesses “for some time” as the state continues to monitor different variants of the virus that could potentially “dodge” the current vaccine models.

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