TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - New Jersey residents 65 and older, as well as those from 16 to 64 with serious medical conditions such as cancer, heart and kidney disease, can begin to be vaccinated with the COVID-19 shot on Thursday, Gov. Phil Murphy said Wednesday.
Murphy said the decision stemmed from a few factors, including what he said was a "strong appetite" for expanding the vaccine among the state's 71 hospitals, along with guidance from the Trump administration and "signals" from the incoming Joe Biden White House.
New Jersey has vaccinated 264,000 people, out of about 400,000 vaccines initially distributed to the state, according to Health Department data. So far, 220 of more than 600 nursing homes have completed vaccinations, the governor said. That totals about 28,500 people.
Murphy's administration is aiming to have nearly 5 million people, or about 70% of the adult population, vaccinated in six months.
The death toll climbed by 95 overnight, rising to 18,070. The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in New Jersey rose over the past two weeks from 4,476 new cases per day on Dec. 29 to 6,190 new cases per day on Tuesday, according to Johns Hopkins University.
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