Who is Eligible for Vaccination?

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MORRIS COUNTY —  New Jersey is rolling out COVID-19 vaccines step-by-step to serve all adults who live, work, or study in the state.

Who is eligible for vaccination at this time?

Currently, vaccines are available to the following groups:

    • Paid and unpaid healthcare workers
    • Residents and workers of long-term care and high-risk congregate-care facilities
    • First responders including sworn law enforcement and fire professionals
    • Individuals aged over 65
    • Individuals aged 16-64 that have certain medical conditions that increase the risk of severe illness from the virus
    • Pre-K to 12 educators and staff
    • Childcare workers in licensed and registered settings
    • Beginning March 15, the following groups will be eligible to book vaccine appointments:
    • Transportation workers
    • Additional public safety workers
    • Additional high-risk individuals
    • Beginning March 29, additional frontline essential workers will be eligible to book vaccine appointments.Healthcare Personnel (Phase 1A)Paid and unpaid persons serving in health care settings who have the potential for direct or indirect exposure to patients or infectious materials, including, but not limited to:
    • Licensed healthcare professionals like doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists
    • Staff like receptionists, janitors, mortuary services, laboratory technicians
    • Consultants, per diem, and contractors who are not directly employed by the facility
    • Unpaid workers like health professional students, trainees, volunteers, and essential caregivers
    • Community health workers, doulas, and public health professionals like Medical Reserve Corps
    • Personnel with variable venues like EMS, paramedics, funeral staff, and autopsy workers
    • All workers in acute, pediatric, and behavioral health hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers
    • All workers in health facilities like psychiatric facilities, Federally Qualified Health Centers, and rehabs
    • All workers in clinic-based settings like urgent care clinics, dialysis centers, and family planning sites
    • All workers in long-term care settings like nursing homes, assisted living facilities, group homes, and others
    • All workers in occupational-based healthcare settings like health clinics within workplaces, shelters, jails, colleges and universities, and K-12 schools
    • All workers in community-based healthcare settings like PACE and Adult Living Community Nursing
    • All workers in home-based settings like hospice, home care, and visiting nurse services
    • All workers in office-based healthcare settings like physician and dental offices
    • All workers in public health settings like local health departments, LINCS agencies, harm reduction centers, and medicinal marijuana programs
    • All workers in retail, independent, and institutional pharmacies
    • Other paid or unpaid people who work in a healthcare setting, who may have direct or indirect contact with infectious persons or materials, and who cannot work from home.
    • Long-Term Care Residents and Staff (Phase 1A)
    • All residents and workers of long-term care and high-risk congregate-care facilities, including:
    • Skilled nursing facilities
    • Veterans homes
    • Assisted living facilities, continuing care retirement communities, and personal care homes
    • Group homes like residential care homes, adult family homes, adult foster homes, and intellectual and developmental disabilities group homes
    • HUD 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly Program residences
    • Institutional settings like psychiatric hospitals, correctional institutions, county jails, and juvenile detention facilities (for eligible minors, e.g. 16+ years of age may be eligible for Pfizer vaccine under the emergency use authorization)
    • Other vulnerable, congregate, long-term settings>First Responders (Phase 1B)Sworn law enforcement, firefighters, and other first responders, including:
    • New Jersey State Police troopers
    • Municipal and county police officers
    • Campus police officers
    • Detectives in prosecutors’ offices and state agencies
    • State agency/authority law enforcement officers (e.g. State Park Police and Conservation Officers,
    • Palisades Interstate Parkway Officers, Human Services police, and NJTransit police)
    • Investigator, Parole and Secured Facilities Officers
    • Aeronautical Operations Specialists
    • Sworn Federal Law Enforcement Officers and Special Agents
    • Bi-State law enforcement officers (e.g. Port Authority)
    • Court Security Officers
    • Paid and unpaid members of firefighting services (structural and wildland)
    • Paid and unpaid members of Search and Rescue Units including technical rescue units and HAZMAT teams
    • Paid and unpaid firefighters who provide emergency medical services
    • Paid and unpaid members of Industrial units that perform Fire, Rescue, and HAZMAT services
    • Members of State Fire Marshal’s Offices
    • Bi-State Fire Service Personnel (e.g. Port Authority)Individuals at High Risk (Phase 1B)Individuals aged 65 and older, and individuals ages 16-64 with medical conditions, as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, that increase the risk of severe illness from the virus. These conditions include:
    • Cancer
    • Chronic kidney disease
    • COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
    • Down Syndrome
    • Heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies
    • Obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 30 kg/m2 or higher but < 40 kg/m2)
    • Severe Obesity (BMI ≥ 40 kg/m2)
    • Sickle cell disease
    • Smoking
    • Type 2 diabetes
    • mellitus
    • Note: 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.Educators and Childcare Workers
    • Paid and unpaid people working in pre-K through 12th-grade settings, including teachers, staff, classroom aides, bus drivers, janitors, counselors, administration staff, cafeteria workers, and substitute teachers
    • Head Start and Early Head Start program staff Any other paid or unpaid persons working in schools serving that pre-K to grade 12
    • Paid and unpaid people working in licensed or registered childcare settings, including center-based and family childcare provider

Who is eligible for vaccination next?

    • Beginning Monday, March 15, the following categories are eligible for vaccination:

    • Public and local transportation workers, including bus, taxi, rideshare, and airport employees; NJ TRANSIT workers; and Motor Vehicle Commission staff;
    • Public safety workers who have not sworn law enforcement or fire professionals, including probation officers and fire safety inspectors;
    • Migrant farmworkers;
    • Members of tribal communities;
    • Individuals experiencing homelessness and those living in shelters, including domestic violence shelters.
    • In addition, on March 15, individuals with the following conditions that might be at increased risk for severe illness from the virus will be added to the list of individuals at high risk and eligible for vaccination:
    • Asthma (moderate-to-severe)
    • Cerebrovascular disease (affects blood vessels and blood supply to the brain)
    • Cystic fibrosis Hypertension or high blood pressure Neurologic conditions, such as dementia Liver disease
    • Overweight (BMI > 25 kg/m2, but < 30 kg/m2)
    • Pulmonary fibrosis (having damaged or scarred lung tissues)
    • Thalassemia (a type of blood disorder)
    • Type 1 diabetes mellitus
    • Note: Individuals who are in an immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from blood or bone marrow transplant, immune deficiencies, HIV, use of corticosteroids, or use of other immune weakening medicines are also eligible but should follow CDC guidance and first discuss vaccination with their medical provider before receiving the vaccine. Additionally, beginning on Monday, March 29, frontline essential workers in the following categories are also eligible for vaccination:
    • Food production, agriculture, and food distribution;
    • Eldercare and support;
    • Warehousing and logistics;
    • Social services support staff;
    • Elections personnel;
    • Hospitality;
    • Medical supply chain;
    • Postal and shipping services;
    • Clergy; and,
    • Judicial system.
    • NOTE: Vaccination phases are tentative and subject to change. The movement between vaccination eligibility phases is fluid. One phase may overlap with another. Not all individuals in one phase will be vaccinated before opening to additional groups. Announcements regarding vaccine eligibility for additional groups, including the general population, will be forthcoming.

Additional Information All New Jerseyans can register for the vaccine. Click here for more information on how to schedule a vaccination or register for the vaccine.COVID-19 vaccines will be made available to individuals regardless of insurance coverage status. Individuals won’t pay coinsurance, deductibles, or copayments. Click here for more information about insurance coverage and vaccines for uninsured individuals.

For more information on how vaccines work, vaccine trials, vaccine safety, click here.