New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy announced Monday that the state’s COVID-19 vaccine eligibility will expand on April 19 to include all those aged 16 and up, 12 days sooner than the initial May 1 target.
The expanded eligibility comes as over 1.7 million people in New Jersey have been fully vaccinated, marking 38% progress to a goal of 4.7 million fully vaccinated adults by June 30, Murphy wrote.
During a press briefing Monday, the governor called the expanded eligibility, effective two weeks from today, the “most aggressive push yet to meet our vaccination goals.”
“Given the trajectory we are on, we believe this is the right time to put our program into higher gear,” Murphy said, in part.
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Murphy previously announced vaccine eligibility would expand on April 5 to include those aged 55 and up, individuals age 16+ with intellectual and developmental disabilities, additional essential workers and others.
The governor said the state is working to place vaccine centers within a 15-minute walk of all residents, and 98.7% of New Jerseyans now live within 5 miles of a place offering vaccinations. The most recent positivity rate for PCR tests was over 9% as of April 1, and the statewide transmission rate is 1.07.
New Jersey also updated its COVID-19-related travel guidance Monday to reflect recent changes from the CDC; fully vaccinated persons who travel within the U.S. do not have to quarantine after landing or undergo testing around the time of travel. However, international travelers still need to undergo testing upon return to the U.S., per federal requirements, Murphy said.