Phil Murphy

Retail Workers, Longshoremen Next Group to be Vaccine Eligible

Gov. Phil Murphy announced that on March 29, retail workers and longshoremen will become the next group of people eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

Speaking on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” program this morning, Murphy said the time frame coincides with vaccine supplies dramatically increasing thanks to the Biden administration’s continued efforts.

Asked if state workers will be required to receive a vaccine, the governor commented, “Not yet … because there is clearly vaccine skepticism – some of it’s completely unfounded and some of it is completely understandable, particularly from our communities of color.”

What is an option, he said, is the possibility that employees may have to disclose if they have been inoculated against COVID-19.

Similarly, when asked about the need to carry cards proving someone received a vaccine, Murphy said that  is under consideration, but he will “first and foremost” take guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on the issue.

“At the end of the day, I hope people get the vaccine on their own free will,” Murphy said.

He added  that when a vaccine becomes available to a community, the confidence in those who were first skeptical increases because they see colleagues safely receive the vaccine with no medical side effects. “That is when acceptance in the community goes up. We think that will continue to be the case,” Murphy said, adding the state is trying to get to 70% of adults vaccinated by Memorial Day. By the end of today, 3.3 million New Jerseyans will have been vaccinated.

Asked about  Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s  decision to lift New York’s domestic travel quarantine policy and if New Jersey would change its  travel guidelines, Murphy said that is under consideration.

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