Expansion Includes Educators, Childcare Workers, Transportation Workers, and Other Frontline Essential Workers and High-Risk Groups

TRENTON – Governor Murphy announced the expansion of eligibility for more frontline essential workers and high-risk groups in New Jersey’s COVID-19 vaccination program. Eligible groups include educators and staff in pre-k through 12th grade settings, childcare workers, and transportation workers, among others.

“Our administration has built the infrastructure – including nearly 300 vaccination sites across the state – needed to support New Jersey’s COVID-19 vaccination demand,” said Governor Murphy. “As the federal government continues to make more vaccine doses available, we are confident in our ability to expand our vaccination program to reach more of our essential workers and vulnerable populations. Our goal is to provide every New Jerseyan with a vaccine when it is available and they are eligible.”

“As vaccine supply increases, this phased expansion of new eligibility groups keeps New Jersey moving forward toward our goal of vaccinating 70 percent of the eligible adult population,” said New Jersey Department of Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli.

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

  • Educators, including support staff, in pre-K through 12th grade settings;
  • Childcare workers in licensed and registered settings;
  • Public and local transportation workers, including bus, taxi, rideshare, and airport employees; NJ TRANSIT workers; and Motor Vehicle Commission staff;
  • Public safety workers who are not sworn law enforcement or fire professionals, including probation officers and fire safety inspectors;
  • Migrant farm workers;
  • Members of tribal communities; and,
  • Individuals experiencing homelessness and those living in shelters, including domestic violence shelters.

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.

Additionally, the eligibility list will indicate that all individuals ages 16-64 with certain medical conditions, as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), that increase the risk or might increase the risk of severe illness from the virus, are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccination.

For more information about eligibility, statewide vaccination site locations, and to preregister for a vaccination, visit https://covid19.nj.gov/vaccine

For more information on CDC criteria for eligibility, please click here.

“A healthy workforce is of critical importance for agriculture and the food industry supply chain,” said New Jersey Department of Agriculture Secretary Douglas H. Fisher. “We appreciate that Governor Murphy has prioritized the vaccination of our essential farmworkers as we ramp up for New Jersey’s growing season.”

“We appreciate Governor Murphy for recognizing the importance of keeping safe New Jersey’s front-line employees who are working in daily, face-to-face vital roles that protect and support our state’s children and families,” said New Jersey Department of Children and Families Commissioner Christine Norbut Beyer. “For almost a full year now, childcare, child welfare and domestic violence shelter staff have remained in the field and on-the-ground, facing and overcoming their own pandemic fears, and loss, in service to others. Expanding distribution to these categories helps to ensure that they can continue their essential work, safely.”

“Governor Murphy and I are committed to both reopening schools as soon as possible and making sure that our educators and students are safe. By expanding vaccination eligibility to educators, we advance both goals,” said New Jersey Department of Education Acting Commissioner Dr. Angelica Allen-McMillan. “Schools are an integral part of our communities, and everyone in the school community needs to feel safe and secure as we work to safely reopen schools. The expansion of vaccine eligibility being announced today is another step to demonstrate our commitment to our school staff and students, and their families.”

“New Jersey has made great strides in opening vaccination to more and more residents, and we are very pleased to be able to expand availability to vulnerable communities such as individuals experiencing homelessness and critical workers such as those caring for older residents, children and providing social services supports,” said New Jersey Department of Human Services Acting Commissioner Sarah Adelman. “We cannot express enough thanks to frontline essential workers for their commitment throughout this entire public health crisis and look forward to more and more of them getting protection against this virus and to further protecting our most vulnerable residents.”

“We are incredibly grateful that MVC workers will soon be eligible for COVID-19 vaccines,” said Motor Vehicle Commission Chief Administrator Sue Fulton. “Our employees have been working hard to serve NJ’s drivers, on the frontline, amidst the many challenges created by COVID-19’s threat to public health and safety.  We’re thankful for Governor Murphy’s leadership throughout the Public Health Emergency, and the MVC is proud to be part of NJ’s push to get vaccines in the arms of essential workers in an effort to beat this virus.”

“NJ TRANSIT is extremely grateful to Governor Murphy and his Administration for prioritizing our state’s indispensable transit workers,” said Kevin S. Corbett, NJ TRANSIT President & CEO. “Our dedicated frontline transit employees have been keeping our region moving, delivering service for essential workers and all those who depend on public transit, since the onset of this pandemic. The vaccine will add yet another layer of safety to the numerous measures we already have in place to provide the safest possible travel environment for our employees and customers.