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March 26, 2021

New Jersey expanding COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to adults 55 and older

Others in the 1C group, like sanitation workers, members of the media, higher education staff and financial industry workers are also becoming eligible

New Jersey will expand COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to people included in the state's third priority group April 5, a move that impacts millions of residents.

Residents ages 55 and older, and people age 16 and older with intellectual or developmental disabilities are among those who will become eligible as part of group 1C. People who work in the following professions also will be eligible: 

• Higher education, including university instructors and employees
• Communication, IT and news media
• Retail financial institutions, including bank tellers and accountants 
• Sanitation, including people who provide disinfection and janitorial services, or work in waste removal 
• Utilities, including electrical supply, natural gas delivery, water supply and internet and cellular service workers 
• Librarians
• Laundry services
• Real estate, building and home service workers 

New Jersey is currently vaccinating individuals included in Phase 1A and 1B

On Monday, vaccinations will expand to additional workersincluding food production, agriculture and food distribution workers, clergy members, postal workers, hospitality workers, and warehousing and logistics workers. 

New Jersey has fully vaccinated about 15.8% of its population — about 1.36 million people. Gov. Phil Murphy wants to vaccinate 70% of the state's adult population — about 4.7 million people — by July. About 30% of the state's population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. 

The expanded eligibility requirements come as New Jersey expects to receive an increase in vaccines from the federal government. At a press briefing Friday, Murphy said next week's shipment includes 494,430 doses — a 20% increase.

As a residents older than 55, Murphy and his wife, Tammy, are included in the next vaccination group. He said they will not receive any preferential treatment. 

"I'm going to make my vaccine appointment, as will she, through the same process that millions of New Jerseyans have done for theirs," Murphy said.

He also tossed a friendly jab at reporters, who are also included in the next phase. 

"To our friends in the media, you will be included in this expansion for April 5th, regardless of the tough questions you ask me," Murphy said. "Many of you have been right there on the front lines fighting this pandemic. You have kept your communities informed and we thank you for that."  

FEMA will be opening a Community Vaccination Center at the New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark. It will have the capacity to inoculate 6,000 people per day.

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