The second of two big expansions this month of COVID-19 vaccine eligibility in New Jersey begins Monday with food service workers and several other groups who can now schedule shots.
Gov. Phil Murphy announced the expansion earlier this month as the state seeks to vaccinate 70% of the adult population within six months of the first vaccine doses being administered in December.
More than 1 in 5 adults have already been fully vaccinated, though demand for appointments has continued to far outpace the supply. New Jersey is expected to receive nearly 500,000 vaccine doses this week, including more than 50,000 of the one-shot Johnson & Johnson doses, state officials have said.
Another big expansion for those age 55 and up starts on April 5.
New Jersey now has hundreds of locations offering vaccine appointments listed on the state’s website including six mega-sites.
The people who can schedule a shot in New Jersey starting Monday include, according to the state website:
- Food production, agriculture, and food distribution;
- Eldercare and support
- Warehousing and logistics
- Social services support staff
- Elections personnel
- Medical supply chain
- Postal and shipping services
- Judicial system
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The list of those who were previously eligible includes:
- Health care workers
- People who live and work at long-term care and high-risk congregate facilities
- First responders
- People 65 and older
- Motor Vehicle Commission workers
- NJ Transit workers and other transportation workers
- Public and local transportation workers, including bus, taxi, ride-share and airport employees
- All public safety personal who have not already been made eligible such as probation officers, child protective service workers and probation officers.
- Members of tribal communities
- Migrant farm workers
- People who are homeless and people living in homeless shelters or domestic violence shelters
- People 16 to 64 who have certain medical conditions
Those medical conditions include:
- Chronic kidney disease
- COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
- Down Syndrome
- Heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies
- Overweight or obesity (BMI of 25 or higher)
- Sickle cell disease
- Type 1 and 2 diabetes mellitus
- Asthma (moderate-to-severe)
- Cerebrovascular disease (affects blood vessels and blood supply to the brain)
- Cystic fibrosis
- Hypertension or high blood pressure
- Neurologic conditions, such as dementia
- Liver disease
- Pulmonary fibrosis (having damaged or scarred lung tissues)
- Thalassemia (a type of blood disorder)
- Note: Individuals who are pregnant and those in an immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from solid organ transplant, blood or bone marrow transplant, immune deficiencies, HIV, use of corticosteroids, or use of other immune weakening medicines are also eligible but should follow CDC guidance and first discuss vaccination with their medical provider before receiving the vaccine.
Beginning Monday, April 5, the following groups are eligible for vaccination:
- 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.
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Matt Arco may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.