New Jersey opening COIVD-19 vaccine eligibility April 19 to people 16 or older
New Jersey is opening up COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to those 16 or older beginning April 19.
Gov. Phil Murphy made the announcement Monday.
Murphy says 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 people 55 and older, as well as people in other jobs categories, became eligible for the vaccine.
The announcement also comes as more cases are appearing in younger people, in particular, some experts are concerned about rising cases of the U.K. variant in younger children.
Pediatricians in New Jersey say we shouldn't be too surprised because those cases are going up in every age category, since the strain is very contagious.
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But many local pediatricians say they have not seen that in kids in the state.
"I believe personally, I think schools are doing a pretty good job here in NJ implementing distancing and masking, which again is very helpful,” says Dr. Anma Husain. “Especially because our young children don't qualify now for vaccines." Dr. Husain says it's too soon to consider vaccinating the younger kids. Studies are being done on all age groups, but she says so far, only one vaccine has proven effective on adolescent kids.
Murphy has promised to get 70% of the state’s adult population, or 4.7 million people, vaccinated by the end of June.
AP wire services helped contribute to this report.