COVID-19 - coronavirus vaccine graphic

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - 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.

In addition to paid and unpaid healthcare workers in Phase 1A, the two groups mark the expansion of eligible residents in Phase 1B, which recently opened to include sworn law enforcement and fire professionals. 

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.

New Jersey has vaccinated 264,000 people, out of about 400,000 vaccines initially distributed to the state.

“Over the last several months, our Administration has built the infrastructure and laid the groundwork to support New Jersey’s COVID-19 vaccination demand,” said Governor Murphy. “Based on recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, we are ready to begin ramping up our vaccination efforts exponentially and are confident in our ability to provide every willing New Jersey resident with a vaccine when it is available and they are eligible.”

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