FEMA To Open Mass Vaccination Site In Newark Monday As New Jersey Expands COVID Vaccine Eligibility
NEW JERSEY (CBSNewYork) -- More people will be eligible for the COVID vaccine in New Jersey soon. But officials are also trying to contain a resent rise in coronavirus cases.
Starting April 5, several new groups - including those 55 and older - can make vaccination appointments in the Garden State, CBS2's Kiran Dhillon reported Saturday.
The news comes as the state's vaccine supply is expected to grow.
Gov. Phil Murphy toured the Union County vaccination site, where childcare workers were getting their shots, with other state leaders Friday.
"These providers have been on the front lines all year, supporting families and our workforce as a whole," said Murphy.
Now, the state will expand eligibility to those 55 and older on April 5. Those 16 and older with intellectual and developmental disabilities and more front line essential workers will become eligible, too.
"Our workers in the retail financial sector... workers at laundromats and dry cleaning businesses... construction workers, code officials, plumbers, electricians, HVAC technicians, and property management and maintenance workers," Murphy said.
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Librarians, higher education staff, IT and communications, public utility and sanitation workers are all eligible, too.
Murphy said the state is able to open things up as a 20% increase in doses from the federal government is expected next week. The state is also getting a boost in the form of a massive FEMA vaccination site.
"At New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark beginning Monday morning. This site will be staffed and stocked to administer, when it's fully up and running, 6,000 doses a day, seven days a week and will focus on ensuring vaccine equity and reaching deep into communities with higher risk," said Murphy.
This news comes as COVID-19 cases tick back up, signaling a possible third wave.
"Sign up and get a vaccine. It's how we get through this crisis together," said State Sen. Joe Cryan on Friday.
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Meanwhile, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a digital pass that New Yorkers can use to prove they are vaccinated against COVID-19.
The Excelsior Pass can be printed out or pulled up on a smartphone. It uses a secure QR code to provide businesses and venues with the user's proof of vaccination or negative test status.
Cuomo said the goal of the pass is to fast-track the reopening of businesses and entertainment venues across the state.
CBS2's Kiran Dhillon contributed to this report.
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