NJ restaurant, grocery, hospitality workers among large group now eligible for COVID-19 vaccine


NEW JERSEY — COVID-19 vaccine eligibility expands Monday to include essential workers at restaurants, grocery stores, and in the hospitality, shipping and postal industries and many more.

Gov. Phil Murphy announced the March 29 eligibility for the large group of frontline workers at the start of the month.

Workers in the below industries are now able to start booking vaccination appointments:

  • 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
  • Judicial system

Monday’s expansion comes a day after it was announced New Jersey and New York are back atop the list of U.S. states with the highest new infection rates.

Even as the vaccination campaign has ramped up, the number of new infections in New Jersey has crept up by 37% in a little more than a month, to about 23,600 every seven days.

New Jersey has been reporting about 647 new cases for every 100,000 residents over the past 14 days.

The situation in New York and New Jersey mirrors a national trend that has seen case numbers inch up in recent days. The U.S. is averaging nearly 62,000 cases a day, up from 54,000 two weeks ago.

The Garden State’s next major vaccination eligibility expansion comes on April 5 when anyone age 55 and over can get the shot.

Others in the next eligibility group include those age 16 and up with intellectual and developmental disabilities, higher education educators and staff, journalists and communications workers and more.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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