New Jersey will open COVID-19 vaccinations eligibility to people 16 and older starting April 19, about two weeks before its previously announced timeline.
The state had said all adults would be eligible for the shot by May 1, in line with a goal set by President Joe Biden for universal adult eligibility.
“This is the right time to put it into high gear,” said Gov. Phil Murphy at his press briefing on April 5.
State officials have stated their goal is to vaccinate 70% of New Jerseyans by before the beginning of the Summer—expected sometime between Memorial Day and July 4th. The state has vaccinated approximately 1.8 million of its 4.7 million goal as of April 5.
“Two months ago, on Feb. 5, we reported roughly 180,000 fully vaccinated individuals. One month later, on March 5, we reported 789,500—nearly 610,000 in one month,” Murphy said. “Over the past month, more than 1 million people…are now fully vaccinated.”
The announcement comes as Murphy Administration has significantly expanded those eligible for the vaccine over the last month. Those newly eligible on April 5 included people ages 55-64; people ages 16 and up with intellectual and developmental disabilities; educators in higher education settings; communications infrastructure support; members of the press; real estate, building, and home service workers; retail financial institution workers; sanitation workers; laundry service workers; utility workers including, electrical generation; and librarians.
A greater push for vaccine expansion started on March 5 when eligibility was given to teachers and support staff in an attempt to speed up the pace of returning students tio in-school instruction.
They were followed on March 15 by those gaining eligibility including Motor Vehicle Commission workers’; NJ Transit and other transportation workers; all public safety personnel who have not already been made eligible such as probation officers, child protective service workers and probation officers; members of tribal communities; migrant farm workers; and people who are homeless and people living in homeless or domestic violence shelters.
Comparing to Neighbors
Two weeks later, a new cohort became eligible on March 29 to schedule a shot including food production, agriculture, and food distribution workers; eldercare and support staff; warehousing and logistics workers; social services support staff; elections personnel; hospitality workers; medical supply chain employees; postal and shipping services workers; clergy; and those employed in the judicial system.
Healthcare workers, first responders and those with underlying health conditions were among the first to be eligible for the vaccine starting Dec. 15, 2020.
The move comes as neighboring states have lowered the age limits to those receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. New York and Connecticut will permit shots for those 16 and over starting April 6 while Pennsylvanian will open it to the lower age group on April 19.
The number of COVID-19 vaccines administered in New Jersey totaled 4,701,725 as of April 5. Of those who have received the vaccine, 3,013,713 residents have received their first dose with 1,796,798 receiving their second dose or the one jab Johnson & Johnson dose; 51% have been administered the Pfizer vaccine, 46% the Moderna vaccine and 2% the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Demographically, 56% of those vaccinated are women and 44% men. As for ethnicity, 58% are White, 11% other, 9% unknown, 8% Asian, 8% Hispanic and 5% Black. In regards to age of those having received the vaccine, 38% are 65 years old or olders, 29% are between the ages of 50-64, 25% are between the ages of 40-49, and 9% are between the ages of 18-29.
In North Jersey, Bergen County has delivered 528,708 doses, Essex 360,877 doses, Morris 337,456 doses, Hudson 258,743 doses, Passaic 211,667 doses, Sussex 75,343 doses, and Warren 47,781 doses.
As of April 5, the cumulative number of confirmed coronavirus cases in New Jersey was 817,464 with 2,471 total new PCR cases reported. There were 513 probable cases, bringing the cumulative total of antigen tests to 112,562. The total number of individual cases for the state is 930,026. Gov. Murphy previously noted there is some unknown overlap due to health officials urging those taking a rapid test to get a PCR test.
As for those that have passed, the state reported 15 new deaths, bringing that total to 22,081. The state listed probable deaths at 2,568, bringing the overall total to 24,649. State officials noted 19 deaths occurred in the last 24 hours of reporting that have not yet been lab confirmed.
For North Jersey counties on April 5, Bergen had a total of 313 new confirmed cases and 51 probable cases, Essex 210 new cases and 48 probable cases, Hudson 186 new cases and 38 probable cases, Morris 124 new cases and 22 probable cases, Passaic 119 new cases and 26 probable cases, Sussex 73 new cases and seven probable cases, and Warren 29 cases and no new probable cases.
There are a total of 692 coronavirus variants being reported in the Garden State. State officials documented 674 cases of the U.K. variant, eight cases of the California variants, eight cases of the Brazilian P1 variant, and two cases of the South African variant.
Of the total confirmed deaths in North Jersey, Essex County has the most with 2,516, followed by Bergen at 2,453, Hudson with 1,929, Passaic at 1,607, Morris at 936, Sussex at 218 and Warren County at 204.
In regards to probable deaths reported March 31, Bergen has 295, Essex has 290, Morris has 243, Hudson has 201, Passaic has 194, Sussex has 66 and Warren has 25.
As for the rate of transmission, it decreased to 1.07 from 1.08 the three previous days. The daily rate of infections from those tested as of April 1, was 9.1%; by region, the rate was 9.1% in the North, 9.6% in the Central region and 8.5% in the South.
Officials reported 2,292 patients were hospitalized; 2,182 cases were confirmed and 110 are under investigation. By region, there were 1,166 in the North, 704 in the Central and 422 in the South.
Of those hospitalized, 484 are in intensive care units and 233 on ventilators. A total of 238 patients were discharged, while 268 were admitted.
Officials have continually cited transmission rate, hospitalizations, intensive care units, ventilators and positivity rate as health data they rely on to track how the coronavirus is being contained in New Jersey, guiding them in determining when restrictions have to be tightened or lifted.
Bergen Tops County Count
Bergen has the most confirmed cumulative cases in the state with 82,096, followed by Essex at 79,028, Middlesex at 78,718, Hudson at 73,541, Monmouth at 62,244, Ocean at 61,036, Passaic at 59,405, Union at 55,819, Camden at 44,153, Morris at 38,911, Burlington at 35,122, Mercer at 29,330, Gloucester at 23,875, Atlantic at 22,765, Somerset at 22,181, Cumberland at 13,312, Sussex at 10,274, Hunterdon at 7,874, Warren at 7,826, Salem at 4,829, and Cape May at 4,207.
In regards to probable cases, Bergen had the most at 11,671, followed by Union at 9,703, Ocean at 8,984, Essex at 8,214, Hudson at 7,979, Monmouth at 7,248, Morris at 7,125, Middlesex at 6,509, Passaic at 6,379, Atlantic at 6,086, Burlington at 5,699, Camden at 5,680, Somerset at 5,165, Cape May at 4,200, Gloucester at 3,563, Cumberland at 2,180, Mercer at 2,064, Sussex at 1,840, Warren at 852, Hunterdon at 767 and Salem 496.
Another 918 cases are still under investigation to determine where the person resides.
In regards to cases related to in-school transmissions, a total of 205 outbreaks involving 947 cases have been reported, with 16 new outbreaks accounting for 55 cases in the weekly update on March 31.
For North Jersey, Bergen County has 47 confirmed outbreaks with 185 cases, Passaic County has 12 confirmed outbreaks with 42 cases, Warren has 12 confirmed outbreaks with 30 cases, Sussex has nine confirmed outbreaks with 31 cases, Morris County has five confirmed outbreaks with 34 cases, Hudson County has four confirmed outbreaks with 21 cases, and Essex County with one confirmed outbreak with 92 cases.
Long-term Care Facilities
Health officials noted 229 long-term care facilities are currently reporting at least one case of COVID-19, accounting for a total of 7,854 of the cases, broken down between 3,559 residents and 4,295 staff.
Cumulatively, 1,339 long-term care facilities reported a case infecting 32,540 residents and 21,601 staff, for a total of 54,141 cases.
The state’s official death total will now be reported as those that are lab confirmed, sits at 7,990 on April 5. The facilities are reporting to the state 7,852 residents deaths and 143 staff deaths.