Gov. Murphy: People 65, older cleared to get vaccine in New Jersey

Gov. Phil Murphy says New Jersey residents 65 and older, as well as those from 16 to 64 with serious medical conditions such as cancer, heart and kidney disease, can begin to be vaccinated with the COVID-19 shot on Thursday.
Murphy said Wednesday the decision stemmed from a few factors, including what he said was a “strong appetite” for expanding the vaccine among the state’s 71 hospitals, along with guidance from the Trump administration and “signals” from the incoming Joe Biden White House.
"We have set the infrastructure we need to do this job, and we are now ready to ramp up our vaccination efforts exponentially,” Murphy said. “May I just say this up front, I want to remind folks, please be patient. We are taking this step in advance of what we not just anticipate, but will likely have in terms of increased vaccine dosage supply."
Appointments are still required to get the shot. Those who have pre-registered and are now eligible should be getting an alert soon.
New Jersey has vaccinated 264,000 people, out of about 400,000 vaccines initially distributed to the state.
The governor also confirmed Wednesday that New Jersey is reporting a record number of new positive COVID-19 cases, with 6,922 cases reported. There were an additional 92 deaths, bringing the statewide death toll to over 18,000.
The rate of transmission is up to 1.1.
There are also 3,726 COVID-19 patients admitted to New Jersey hospitals, with 648 patients in the ICU and 452 on ventilators.
The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.