Vaccines Available For Seniors & People With Medical Conditions

A nurse receives her first injection of the vaccine. (Photo courtesy Hackensack Meridian Health)

  TRENTON – Gov. Phil Murphy announced on social media that residents ages 65 and older will be able to register to get the COVID-19 vaccine starting January 14. Additionally, anyone between the ages of 16-64 can sign up as long as they meet the medical conditions defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

  Vaccine rollout has been a tiered approach. We are technically still in Phase 1A, which encompasses only residents of long-term care facilities and health care workers.

  However, phases were based on availability of the vaccine, and people who would normally be in Phase 1B have been added. Earlier, Murphy opened the door to police and firefighters. Now, the door is open wider to seniors and those with certain pre-existing medical conditions that increase the risk of severe illness from the virus.

  Those eligible can sign up at If you are not in one of these groups yet, registration will put you on a list to be contacted when it is your turn.

  Other facilities are also starting to provide vaccinations. Monmouth and Ocean counties have hosted clinics. Two ShopRites, medical sites, and some pharmacies are also doing vaccinations.

  No matter which vaccine you receive, the Pfizer or Moderna, they both require two shots a few weeks apart. Part of the appointment process is setting up times for both.

1 In 16 Sick In Ocean County

  New Jersey is in the midst of a post-holiday increase in cases. There were 621 new positive cases announced on January 13 in Ocean County alone. This brought the total of positive cases in that county to 37,745. With a population of about 600,000, this is about one in every 16 people.

  The first peak hit in spring of 2020. Numbers in Ocean County went down over the summer as things were shut down. Then, numbers came back up in late September and early October.

  The numbers we are seeing now are the highest there’s been. In March of 2020, for example, the highest number of positive cases was 302 confirmed cases in one day. We’ve seen many days over the past two months that were higher.

  There were 33,575 known cases on January 1. Approximately 4,000 people have tested positive in the first two weeks of 2021.

  There have been 1,405 deaths as of January 13 in Ocean County, amounting to a death rate of 3.72 percent of known cases. Of these, 23 were ages 19-44; 177 were ages 45-64; and 1,205 were 65 and older.