New Jersey to Lower Vaccine Eligibility Age to 55 Starting April 5


New Jersey will expand Covid-19 vaccination access to people 55 and over, those with intellectual and developmental disabilities and higher-education workers on April 5, Governor Phil Murphy announced.

The state also will be among three opening a Federal Emergency Management Agency mass vaccination center. The New Jersey site, opening in Newark on March 29, will operate for at least eight weeks, with capacity of 6,000 doses per day. It will target under-served communities in the state’s largest city, whose population is 50% Black and 36% Hispanic.

Murphy, 63, a first-term Democrat, joins governors across the country who are expanding eligibility as vaccine supply increases. The broader age pool includes him and his wife, Tammy, and both will make vaccine appointments, he said at a news conference at Kean University in Union.

“Next week we’re receiving 494,430 total doses -- that’s a nearly 20% increase week over week,” Murphy said. The state reported almost 6,000 new cases in the past 24 hours and for the fourth straight day had more than 2,000 Covid-19 hospital patients.

New Jersey’s latest eligibility designation also includes workers in communications, information technology, media, real estate, utilities, sanitation, banks, home services and laundries.

Residents 65 and older are currently eligible for the vaccine. As of March 26, the state had administered 3.8 million doses, enough for 22.2% of the population, according to the Bloomberg Vaccine Tracker.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo lowered the age of eligibility to 50 this week. Connecticut is lowering its age to 16.

New Jersey had the highest per-capita cases among states -- 327 per 100,000 people -- for the week ended March 25, according to U.S. Centers for Control and Prevention data. New York had the second-most, with 292, followed by Michigan, with 263.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

BQ Install

Bloomberg Quint

Add BloombergQuint App to Home screen.