New Jersey is among the last in the nation to open up vaccine eligibility to any adult, though 16- and 17-year-old recipients may only receive the Pfizer vaccine and an appointment is still required.
- It's now 4:35. The race to vaccinate. Vaccine eligibility takes a big step forward, both in New Jersey and across the country today.
In the Garden State alone, all residents ages 16 and over are now as of today eligible for the shot. And local leaders are urging them to take advantage. Eyewitness News reporter Derick Waller is live in Newark with the details. Good morning, Derick.
DERICK WALLER: Ken, good morning. Here outside a vaccine site, the New Jersey Institute of Technology. And like you said, starting today, if you are over the age of 16, you are officially out of excuses. That's because the vaccine eligibility is now opened up here in New Jersey.
They're actually the last state in our area to finally open this up to any adult. But they did it because the federal government required them to do that. The Biden administration opening up the eligibility and nationwide today to any adult over 16. However, here in the Garden State, appointments are still required. Newark Mayor Ras Baraka is urging people not to wait.
RAS BARAKA: As of Monday, you can come get a vaccination if you want it. As of Monday, everybody aged 16 and up can get a vaccine now if you want it. If you sign those lists and you've been waiting, now is the time for you to get it. They're going to call you. As of Monday everybody is eligible.
DERICK WALLER: And meanwhile, across the Hudson in New York, the slow reopening continues. And starting today, restaurants can stay open an hour later until midnight. Catering halls are allowed to stay open until 1 o'clock in the morning. That is the latest that either of those have been able to stay open since the start of this pandemic. So that is a little bit of hopeful news.