TRENTON, NJ (CBSNewYork) – New York will reduce the age of eligibility for vaccination to 50 starting Tuesday morning. Connecticut plans to allow teenagers to be vaccinated after two weeks.
But New Jersey continues to only make it available to people 65 and older, as well as teachers and people with an underlying health condition.
Why so? CBS2’s Lisa Rozner tried to find some answers on Monday.
For weeks, teacher Ramsey Donna Carlin and her husband, Brian, who has heart disease, tried to schedule a vaccination appointment through New Jersey’s online system.
“We did some in the middle of the night. We did some at 6 a.m. But we were never able to find an appointment, ”said Donna Carlin.
But she’s not alone.
Governor Phil Murphy said Monday there are more than 700 sites, but Donna and others can only secure an appointment through the 24/7 volunteer monitoring sites.
So on Monday, Rozner asked Murphy, “Putting the supply aside, it doesn’t seem like the state’s online registration system is very efficient. Why is it a problem to get an appointment? “
“If you can’t get a date, and you’re worried about it, we have nothing but sympathy and I promise you you’ll get it. It might not be coming as soon as you would like, but that’s because we don’t have the supplies we want, ”replied Murphy.
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Statistics from Johns Hopkins University show that in the Tri-State Area, Connecticut is leading in the percentage of the population vaccinated. New York has vaccinated the most people – more than 2.5 million – than New Jersey and Connecticut.
“So why is New Jersey still stuck in qualifying for people 65 and older?” Rozner asked.
“We’ve taken an approach that right now if you’re 65 or older, you’re automatically eligible,” Murphy said. “If you are under 65 and have a chronic illness, you have been eligible to participate since January. That continues to be the case. “
Murphy never answered why New Jersey is stuck at age 65, but he says he believes people will at least be able to book an appointment by May 1.
Compared to the rest of the country, Dr. Perry Halkitis, dean of the Rutgers School of Public Health, says New Jersey is leading.
“When we get to Passover, Easter in April, we will see more vaccines in the country because the Manufacturing Act is in effect,” Halkitis said.
Halkitis believes New Jersey will gain herd immunity in adults this summer.
In the meantime, the governor said he might make another announcement later this week.