New Jersey will vaccinate its populations according to a system of categories, Fox 5 NY reported.
State residents will be divided into several groups: Category 1A, Category 1B and Category 1C, and then the general public.
Healthcare workers, including hospital staff and EMS, were the first to be vaccinated as of last week, and those “who are in sectors essential to the functioning of society and are at a substantially higher risk to COVID-19” will be next to be vaccinated, said Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli. “Additionally, person 75 years and older are included because of their increased severe risk of illness.”
New Jersey began vaccinating nursing home residents and staff on Monday. CVS and Walgreens, as part of a federal program, will be distributing roughly 84,000 shots across 292 long-term living facilities.
As New Jersey’s supply of vaccines grows, the state will begin to prioritize other groups.
Those considered essential workers in Category 1B include home care health workers, dialysis center staff, urgent care staff, pharmacists, food and grocery workers, police officers, and public transit workers.
The elderly members of the public will be eligible to be vaccinated as well. After them comes Category 1C, which covers anyone between 16-64 who have preexisting conditions that leave them vulnerable to COVID.
Lastly, the general public will be inoculated.
As of now, it is unclear when the state will be ready for later phases.
New Jersey is racing to distribute the vaccine; in the month of December alone, 405,000 vaccines will be distributed, with 120,000 going to long-term care facilities and 280,000 distributed to hospitals and community sites.
The state is currently facing a serious outbreak, with a 10.98% positivity rate on tests, 463,965 positive cases throughout the state, and 3,684 patients in the hospital.
“The scale of this pandemic is staggering,” said Governor Phil Murphy.