New Jersey says it plans to vaccinate 70% of its adult population — about 4.7 million people — in the next six months. Officials have said doses should be available for the general public by April or May.
That includes workers who live out-of-state, students who come into New Jersey and undocumented workers, state officials said.
“The Department has consistently said we will provide equitable access to all who live, work and are being educated in New Jersey,” said Donna Leusner, spokeswoman for the health department.
On Wednesday, State Police Commissioner Pat Callahan said law enforcement officers who live out of state but work in New Jersey, or who live here but work out-of-state, can get the vaccines in the Garden State.
“We have a lot of federal law enforcement partners. Maybe an agent lives in Manhattan but works in Newark office. That Port Authority officer that may live in Jersey but work at JFK Airport… I just wanted to make sure we are clear on that,” Callahan said. “The whole goal is to get that entire population beyond all others to get vaccinated. “
Other members of the 1b group include other first responders, food service workers, educators, support staff and daycare workers, public transit workers and workers who support radio, print, internet and television news and media services, according to the state’s updated 188-page vaccination plan that was released in December. Other “critical” and “essential” workers are also included in 1b, the plan said.
People ages 75 and older will also be part of Phase 1b, the Department of Health said.
Phase 1c will follow. That would include those between the ages of 16 and 64 with high-risk conditions and other adults aged 65 to 75, according to the plan. It would also include “people living or working in congregate or overcrowded settings” such as colleges and universities, migrant workers and tribal populations, who were listed by an earlier version of the plan as in the 1b category, the plan said. Again, no timetable has been announced by the state.
Advocacy groups say they are working with communities to make sure undocumented people will get the vaccine.
“Undocumented immigrants and their family members – no matter their status – have been left behind from virtually every form of COVID relief, leading to extreme suffering, pervasive economic insecurity and increased vulnerability to the virus,” said Sara Cullinane, director of Make The Road New Jersey. “They must have access to the vaccine. That means ensuring free dosages for uninsured individuals, privacy protections and accessible vaccination sites with culturally competent providers.”
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Karin Price Mueller may be reached at KPriceMueller@NJAdvanceMedia.com.