NEW JERSEY – The state has now released a list that shows – in order – when everybody in New Jersey can get the COVID-19 vaccine. Health officials also have identified the sites in each county that currently provide the vaccine (see the vaccine priority list, timeline and immunization sites below).
New Jersey announced this month that the state will roll out COVID-19 vaccines step-by-step to serve all adults who live, work or are being educated in the state.
Gov. Phil Murphy and health officials said the plan will continually be updated in response to the changing circumstances of the pandemic.
New Jersey’s COVID-19 vaccination program aims to:
Provide equitable access to all who live, work, and/or are educated in New Jersey
Achieve community protection, assuming vaccine effectiveness, availability and uptake
Build sustainable trust in COVID-19 and other vaccines
Read more: 9 Questions About Getting COVID-19 Vaccinations In New Jersey
The state’s goal is to vaccinate 70 percent of the adult population – or 4.7 million adults – within six months.
Murphy said New Jersey is also developing a vaccine portal that will keep track of the immunization program. The site can be found here.
Registration for the vaccination has begun, and the current link (found here) from the state Department of Health has been available.
New Jersey also has announced that the state is continually expanding the number of COVID-19 vaccination sites. Click here to find out where you can get one now.
And a telephone number is now available. Read more: New NJ COVID Vaccine Phone Number As State ‘Peaks’ In Second Wave
Murphy expressed hope that the vaccine will finally bring an end to the coronavirus pandemic, but he said New Jersey enters 2021 on “war footing” since more than 4,000 people are contracting the virus every day. Daily reports of fatalities have also reached a seven-month high. Read more: COVID Bills Signed Into Law As NJ Death Toll Hits 7-Month High
“The new year brings with it hope and optimism from the vaccine program that is expanding every day,” Murphy said during his Wednesday news conference.
“But look at the numbers. All of them,” he added. “We can’t consider ourselves done with this virus, because this virus, unfortunately, is not done with us. Let’s keep fighting. And if we all do our jobs, we will make 2021 so much better than our 2020.”
The state’s vaccination list has drawn some controversy, particularly with prison inmates being a priority. Read more: Smokers Before Teachers? NJ Defends COVID Vaccine Priorities
Murphy, for instance, defended the decision to prioritize smokers over teachers and other groups.
Republican Jack Ciattarelli, who is seeking to unseat Murphy in the 2021 gubernatorial election, questioned why New Jersey has begun vaccinating prisoners while nursing home residents and others continue to wait.
“Once again for this governor, criminals come first,” said Ciattarelli. “His administration couldn’t get its act together to get nursing home patients the vaccine on time, but is quick to get it into prisons – leapfrogging our most vulnerable residents and many frontline healthcare workers.”
Murphy responded that the prison population is a “very vulnerable community and it’s why I think we’ve done this responsibly and safely.
He and health officials have noted that the virus spreads quickly in a congregate setting, and correctional officers can contract the virus from inmates and spread it to their local communities.
“When the (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) moved from long-term care to congregate settings, we do consider the prison population a congregate setting, said Health Commissioner Judith Persichill. “We’re working with (state Department of Corrections) Commissioner (Marcus) Hicks to vaccinate the prison population and the employees that care for them under that heading of congregate.”
Currently, vaccines are available to those who are in Phases 1A and 1B. State officials spelled out who those people in Phase 1A are during an earlier news conference. Read more: Here’s Who Is Getting The COVID-19 Vaccine First In New Jersey
On Jan. 6th, Murphy announced that New Jersey will now make the COVID vaccines available to police and firefighters, signaling that the program is moving on to the next phase of distribution. Read more: NJ Expands COVID-19 Vaccines As State Moving Into Next Phase
On Jan. 13th, Murphy announced that anyone over 65 years old will be eligible for the vaccine. Read more: Gov. Murphy To Expand COVID Vaccine To NJ Seniors, Add Sites
Vaccinations began on December 15th in New Jersey hospitals for paid and unpaid persons serving in their health facilities.
Who is eligible for vaccination at this time?
Currently, vaccines are available to the following groups:
Healthcare Personnel (Phase 1A)
Paid and unpaid persons serving in health care settings who have the potential for direct or indirect exposure to patients or infectious materials, including, but not limited to:
Licensed healthcare professionals like doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists
Staff like receptionists, janitors, mortuary services, laboratory technicians
Consultants, per diem, and contractors who are not directly employed by the facility
Unpaid workers like health professional students, trainees, volunteers, and essential caregivers
Community health workers, doulas, and public health professionals like Medical Reserve Corps
Personnel with variable venues like EMS, paramedics, funeral staff, and autopsy workers
All workers in acute, pediatric, and behavioral health hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers
All workers in health facilities like psychiatric facilities, Federally Qualified Health Centers, and rehabs
All workers in clinic-based settings like urgent care clinics, dialysis centers, and family planning sites
All workers in long-term care settings like nursing homes, assisted living facilities, group homes, and others
All workers in occupational-based healthcare settings like health clinics within workplaces, shelters, jails, colleges and universities, and K-12 schools
All workers in community-based healthcare settings like PACE and Adult Living Community Nursing
All workers in home-based settings like hospice, home care, and visiting nurse services
All workers in office-based healthcare settings like physician and dental offices
All workers in public health settings like local health departments, LINCS agencies, harm reduction centers, and medicinal marijuana programs
All workers in retail, independent, and institutional pharmacies
Other paid or unpaid people who work in a healthcare setting, who may have direct or indirect contact with infectious persons or materials, and who cannot work from home.
Long-Term Care Residents and Staff (Phase 1A)
All residents and staff of long-term and congregate care facilities, including:
Skilled nursing facilities
Veterans homesGroup homes like residential care homes, adult family homes, adult foster homes, and intellectual and developmental disabilities group homes
HUD 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly Program residences
Institutional settings like psychiatric hospitals, correctional institutions, county jails, and juvenile detention facilities (for eligible minors, e.g. 16+ years of age may be eligible for Pfizer vaccine under the emergency use authorization)
Other vulnerable, congregate, long-term settings
First Responders (Phase 1B)
Sworn law enforcement, firefighters, and other first responders, including:
New Jersey State Police troopers
Municipal and county police officers
Campus police officers
Detectives in prosecutors’ offices and state agencies
State agency/authority law enforcement officers (e.g. State Park Police and Conservation Officers, Palisades Interstate Parkway Officers, Human Services police, and NJTransit police)
Investigator, Parole and Secured Facilities Officers
Aeronautical Operations Specialists
Sworn Federal Law Enforcement Officers and Special Agents
Bi-State law enforcement officers (e.g. Port Authority)
Court Security Officers
Paid and unpaid members of firefighting services (structural and wildland)
Paid and unpaid members of Search and Rescue Units including technical rescue units and HAZMAT teams
Paid and unpaid firefighters who provide emergency medical services
Paid and unpaid members of Industrial units that perform Fire, Rescue and HAZMAT services
Members of State Fire Marshal’s Offices
Bi-State Fire Service Personnel (e.g. Port Authority)
Individuals at High Risk (Phase 1B)
Individuals aged 65 and older, and individuals ages 16-64 with medical conditions, as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, that increase the risk of severe illness from the virus. These conditions include:
Chronic kidney disease
COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
Heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies
Obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 30 kg/m2 or higher but < 40 kg/m2)
Severe Obesity (BMI ≥ 40 kg/m2)
Sickle cell disease
Type 2 diabetes mellitus