New Jersey has begun vaccinating healthcare professionals, first responders, seniors and those with underlying health conditions with the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. The following outlines who qualifies to receive the vaccine and pertinent information:
- Effective, January 14, individuals 16-64 with certain medical conditions, as defined by the CDC, and individuals 65+ are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in New Jersey. These individuals join health care workers, individuals in high-risk congregate care settings, and first responders as eligible.
- The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is recommended for persons 16 years of age and older under the FDA’s Emergency Use Authorization, however the Moderna vaccine is recommended for individuals 18 years and older. Not all sites administer both vaccines, so it is important to check with your vaccination site before scheduling a visit to ensure you are eligible.
- Individuals who are pregnant and those in an immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from solid organ transplant are also eligible but should follow CDC guidance and first discuss vaccination with their medical provider before receiving the vaccine.
- Smoking is included as a risk factor on the CDC list of high risk conditions and individuals 16-64 with a smoking addiction are now eligible for the vaccine. Smoking puts individuals at higher risk for more severe disease. If an individual who smokes gets COVID, they face a significantly high risk for severe complications, mechanical ventilation, and death. Our goal is to save as many lives as possible and to promote vaccination among the groups at highest risk. Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the US as well as in NJ (except for COVID-19).
- Documentation or proof of eligibility is not required to schedule an appointment for vaccination or to be vaccinated.
- Vaccinations are available to individuals who live, work, or are being educated in New Jersey. So some individuals who are not NJ residents may be vaccinated in this State.However, some county-operated sites may restrict vaccination at their locations to those who work, live, or are being educated in their county. However, the State encourages all vaccination sites to make appointments available to all eligible individuals.
- Residents of group homes and long-term care facilities are currently eligible for a vaccine and permitted to schedule an appointment at an open vaccine location.
- Vaccination sites have been directed to establish waiting lists and not waste any dose. If a vaccination site has a vial left at the end of the day and can’t find someone eligible to vaccinate, the site is permitted to in urgent circumstances, vaccinate an individual not currently in an eligible priority group.
Bergenfield residents who qualify to be vaccinated should visit https://covid19.nj.gov/pages/vaccine or https://www.newbridgehealth.org/covid-19-vaccine-information/.