Covid-19 vaccine. (AP) New Jersey is opening up Covid-19 vaccine eligibility to those 16 or older beginning April 19, Gov. Phil Murphy announced.
Murphy, a Democrat, said the expansion comes two weeks ahead of plan and added that it’s the “right time to put our program into higher gear.’’
The announcement came the same day that those 55 and older as well as people in other jobs categories became eligible for the vaccine.
Murphy has promised to get 70% of the state’s adult population, or 4.7 million people, vaccinated by the end of June.
The state is expecting about 550,000 doses of the vaccine this week, according to Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli, that’s above the level the state would need to meet demand levels.
The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in New Jersey has risen over the past two weeks from about 4,004 new cases on March 20 to 4,363. new cases per day on Saturday, according to Johns Hopkins University.
New Jersey’s vaccination rate continues to be better than the country’s overall, with 21.5% of the state’s adult population fully vaccinated, compared with 18.8% of the United States as a whole.
There were 15 more deaths from the disease reported overnight, putting the toll at 22,081 in New Jersey, according to Murphy.