‘We are not slowing down’: NY, NJ to expand COVID vaccine eligibility this week


More residents in New York and New Jersey will be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine this week as both states ramp up efforts to get as many shots in arms as possible.

In New Jersey, the age of eligibility will drop on Monday from 65+ to 55 years and older. The eligibility expansion also includes people 16 and older with intellectual or developmental disabilities as well as members of the press.

More than 1.7 million New Jersey residents have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 since December. State health officials reported an additional 3,284 new positive cases and 11 virus-related deaths on Sunday. In total, 22,069 Garden State residents have died of COVID-19 since March 2020. 

Over in the Empire State, New Yorkers 16 years and older will be eligible to schedule a vaccine appointment beginning Tuesday. 

The state is also loosening business restrictions this week. Beginning Monday, the 11 p.m. curfew will be lifted for casinos, movie theaters, bowling alleys, billiard halls, gyms and fitness centers.

New York health officials reported 7,467 new COVID-19 cases and 59 additional fatalities on Sunday. The death toll since March 2020 rose to 40,756.

Meanwhile, over 4 million New Yorkers — about 20% of the state’s population — have been fully vaccinated against the virus, as of Sunday morning.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said one in five New York residents is now fully vaccinated — a testament to the nonstop work of the state’s vaccine providers.

“It also means four out of five New Yorkers still need to either get a first dose or come back for their second dose, so we are not slowing down,” Cuomo said in a statement. “We will continue to work with communities across the state to make sure the vaccine is accessible to every New Yorker, and meanwhile, we must all continue to care for each other by following the public health guidance including mask-wearing.”   

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