State OKs teachers, transportation workers to get COVID-19 shot starting March 15

Gov. Phil Murphy says that teachers, support staff and public transportation workers will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine beginning on March 15.

News 12 Staff

Mar 1, 2021, 11:25 PM

Updated 1,236 days ago

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Gov. Phil Murphy says that teachers, support staff and public transportation workers will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine beginning on March 15.
The governor said Monday that this will allow the state to take a major step toward getting students and teachers back into the classroom.
“We would fully expect, assuming things go in the direction they’re going, that we will be in-person school in September. And I will be very surprised and disappointed if we are not,” Murphy said.
Currently, there are 110 school districts in the state that have in-person instruction. There are 533 districts on a hybrid schedule and 142 that are only using remote learning.
“Really welcome to hear that we will have enough vaccine and prioritize educators pre-K-12 and hopeful for educators at colleges as well,” says NJEA President Marie Blistan.
With more people eligible to receive the vaccine, more doses will be needed. To help with this, New Brunswick-based Johnson & Johnson said that on Wednesday the company will deliver 73,000 doses of its one-shot COVID-19 vaccine to New Jersey. The vaccine was just approved by the FDA and CDC for emergency use.
“This vaccine does not need to be kept in a freezer and can be stored at refrigerator temperatures,” said state Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli. “It’s easy to transport and store. It’s also a single dose.”
Johnson & Johnson plans to flood the market with its vaccine.
“We’ll have 20 million [doses] in March, and 100 million by June,” says Johnson & Johnson’s Dr. Paul Stoffels. “This is a single-shot vaccine, so 100 million U.S. citizens will be able to get vaccinated before the summer with our vaccine.”
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine varies a 72% efficacy rating. It is 86% efficient against severe illness.
Murphy announced that CVS and Rite Aid are getting another 22,000 doses of vaccines, which will raise the number of those vaccinated. Just over 2 million doses of the vaccine have been administered in New Jersey so far.
Johnson & Johnson also says that the company hopes to have data on the vaccine and its effects on adolescents by the summer.
In addition to teachers, the governor also announced that members of tribal communities, the homeless, migrant farmworkers and child care workers will also become eligible for the vaccine.
The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.


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