New Jersey is opening its coronavirus vaccine program to anyone over the age of 65 and ages 16 to 64 who has a basic medical condition.
Up to a million people in the state live in this condition, Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli said in a newsletter from Prime Minister Phil Murphy on Wednesday’s corona virus briefing.
If you add smokers, which the state calls a basic condition, an additional 2 million people fall into this category.
Persichilli details which underlying diseases are eligible for vaccination:
- Chronic kidney disease
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- Down syndrome, heart disease, including, for example, heart failure, coronary heart disease and cardiomyopathy
- Severe obesity
- Sickle cell anemia
- Type 2 diabetes.
“And the largest group, the smokers,” Persichilli said. “Smoking poses a significant risk due to the harmful consequences of COVID-19, and 2 million smokers in New Jersey fall into these categories.”
He also said that people who are pregnant or who are immunocompromised and have a weakened immune system from things like a solid organ transplant are also eligible, but should talk to their doctor about vaccinations first.
The three million with the underlying conditions will join an additional 1.47 million people in the state who are 65 or older, Persichilli said.
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NJ Advance Media reporter Matt Arco contributed to the report.
Karin Price Mueller is available at: [email protected].