In a further effort to broaden the scope of vaccine eligibility, New Jersey opened up Monday more options to get the shot to groups of essential workers. Governor Phil Murphy also announced more restrictions that will be lifted at the end of the week.
According to an ABC7 report, more New Jersey residents are now eligible get their COVID-19 vaccines, including:
Restaurant, food processing and distribution industry workers
Remaining eldercare workers
Judicial system employees
The hope is that the increased vaccine eligibility will help slow a troubling rise in the number of coronavirus cases.
“The evidence continues to be that the three vaccines are 100% effective against severe illness and fatality,” Murphy said. “So that continues to be the case, and the basic stuff is still the stuff that works, even against the variants. Face coverings, two preferably, social distancing as we are today, wash your hands with soap and water, take yourself off the field if you’ve been exposed or don’t feel well – and then, at the right point, get tested.”
Outdoor gathering increase
Additionally, Murphy announced that effective Friday, April 2, at 6 a.m., the general limit on outdoor gathering will increase to 200 people.
The cap for indoor gatherings will remain at 25, and outdoor religious services, political activities, weddings, funerals, and memorial services will continue to have no capacity limit.
According to 6abc, New Jersey has been ranked 10th in the nation by Becker’s Hospital Review based on the percentage of available doses administered. According to the data, New Jersey has administered 82% of its available doses.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, says there is good reason to be hopeful as vaccine eligibility expands, but there are concerns about another surge if precautions are abandoned too quickly.
“If people just put aside all public health measures, namely put the masks aside, go to bars, go to restaurants, you’re going to see a surge and that’s really a big problem,” said Fauci.