N.J. lecturers, little one care, transportation staff to develop into eligible for COVID vaccine, Murphy says

UPDATE: Major expansions in NJ COVID vaccine approval include teachers and restaurant workers. Here are the dates and details.

New Jersey teachers, childcare workers and transport workers will be able to get the coronavirus vaccine starting March 15, Governor Phil Murphy announced Monday morning.

The governor, who appeared on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, said it was “an imperative” to vaccinate these people and hinted that he would have additional details at his regular COVID-19 briefing in Trenton at 1:00 p.m. would deliver. Murphy followed up with a tweet indicating the new group would include “additional public safety personnel”.

“We will be rolling it out gradually in a couple of weeks as we already have an imbalance between supply and demand,” said the governor, adding that other key workers are expected to be added to the funding list in late March.

“At the top of that list are educators and daycare people,” Murphy said. “We have a whole game plan.”

The expanded group includes, according to Murphy’s tweet, “Pre-K to 12 educators and support staff”.

New Jersey expects an initial shipment of 73,600 doses of Johnson & Johnson’s new single-dose vaccine within days, Murphy said. The same amount is expected in the following weeks. Federal health officials approved the use of the latest vaccine on Sunday.

Murphy said he expected anyone wanting a vaccine would be eligible “in a few months”.

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Last month, Murphy announced that people over the age of 65 and those between the ages of 16 and 64 with certain medical conditions would be eligible for vaccinations.

There are approximately 4.47 million who will qualify for vaccination as of this point: two million smokers, 1.47 million people over 65, and up to 1 million people with other chronic diseases.

Suitable pre-existing diseases include cancer, chronic kidney disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), Down syndrome, heart disease including congestive heart failure, coronary artery disease and cardiomyopathy, obesity, severe obesity, sickle cell disease and type 2 diabetes.

The state delivered nearly 2 million doses on Saturday, including 1,295,891 first doses and 663,855 second doses, according to state data. The state has received more than 2.5 million doses from the federal government, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

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Matt Arco can be reached at [email protected].

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