Gov. Phil Murphy today set May 1 as the target date for opening vaccine eligibility to all New Jersey residents age 16 and older. This announcement comes after President Joe Biden directed all states to open vaccine eligibility to all adults by the same date (May 1).
“We want everyone to have a date they can look forward to,” Murphy said, adding that he expects to receive an additional 494,430 vaccine doses from the federal government next week – a nearly 20% week-over-week increase in doses.
“This is in the ballpark now of what we were expecting,” he said. “I think it only goes up from there.”
Additionally, in partnership with the Biden Administration, Murphy announced the planned opening of a pilot Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Community Vaccination Center located at the Naimoli Family Athletic and Recreational Facility at the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) in Newark.
The community vaccination center will have the capacity to vaccinate 6,000 individuals per day, seven days per week, with vaccines provided directly from the federal government.
“We set an initial goal of vaccinating 4.7 million New Jersey adults,” Murphy said. “We will not only get there, but we can exceed that goal together.”
As of this morning there have been 3.8 million vaccinations administered in New Jersey.
With the May 1 target date set, Murphy continued the normal expansion of vaccine eligibility today, announcing that starting April 5, the following groups will be eligible:
Individuals ages 55-64;
Individuals ages 16 and up with intellectual and developmental disabilities;
Educators, including support staff, in higher education settings;
Communications infrastructure support, including engineers, and technicians, and members of the press;
Real estate, building, and home service workers, including construction workers, code officials, plumbers, electricians, HVAC technicians, property management, and maintenance workers;
Retail financial institution workers, including bank tellers, lending services, public accounting, and check-cashing workers;
Sanitation workers providing disinfection and janitorial services, city sanitation workers; residential, commercial, and industrial solid and hazardous waste removal workers;
Laundry service workers, including those working in laundromats, laundry services, and dry cleaners;
Utility workers including, electrical generation and supply system, natural gas delivery, nuclear power plant, water supply, telephone, cable/fiber/optical/broadband/cellular service workers; and,
Librarians and support staff at municipal, county, and state libraries.
“We know there are many in these categories who have already received their vaccinations because they have already qualified under a previous eligibility expansion,” Murphy said. “We are now ready to push forward and include everyone on this list.”
As previously announced, essential workers in the following industries will also become eligible for the vaccine on March 29:
Food production, agriculture, and food distribution
Eldercare and support
Warehousing and logistics
Social services support staff
Medical supply chain
Postal and shipping services
The vaccine eligibility expansions appear to come at a good time, as the state today announced an additional 5,884 positive cases of COVID-19 over the past 24 hours.
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