COVID-19 vaccines for teachers, daycare, transit workers March 15
Gov. Phil Murphy is adding teachers and other essential workers to the front of the vaccine line now that Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 is approved for use.
Murphy also said members of tribal communities, the homeless, migrant farm workers and childcare workers also will become eligible for the vaccine starting March 15.
Murphy also announced that beginning March 29, food production and distribution workers would be eligible for the vaccine. along with warehouse and logistics employees and social services, postal, elections and hospitality workers and others.
The FDA gave final approval to the single-dose vaccine on Saturday. Murphy said Friday said an initial shipment of 70,000 doses are expected to arrive in New Jersey this week.
Murphy said on Twitter Monday morning that pre-K-12 educators and support staff, child care workers, transportation workers and additional public safety workers will be eligible starting March 15. Additional details would be disclosed at Monday's coronavirus briefing scheduled for 1 p.m.
Murphy on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" said that including educators would go a long way toward reopening classrooms for full in-person instruction.
He answered "emphatically yes" when asked if New Jersey schools would be fully open in September and hoped it would be “a lot sooner.”
Murphy said the list of worker groups would be phased in before the end of the month to include retail workers and longshoremen.
More than 2 million people have received COVID-19 vaccines in New Jersey and Murphy hopes that number will continue to grow as misinformation about the vaccine are knocked down.
“There are myths out there as it relates to women of child bearing age and those myths need to be debunked,” Murphy said. “And I think, most importantly among our Black and brown communities, particularly African-American communities, there is rightful skepticism based on the history of our country, so getting role models to the head of the line, public service campaigns, reaching into Black and brown churches as we’re doing is essential to push back on that rightful skepticism based on our American history."
Murphy said the initial shipment of Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which can be stored with regular refrigeration will go into “hard-to-reach, underserved, overwhelmingly Black and brown communities.”
As more vaccine becomes available, Murphy said that anyone who wants to take one of the three available vaccines would be able to regardless of their age, health or job by the end of May which will help reopen the economy.
Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ