Questions Remain Why New Jersey Still Stuck At Age 65+ Eligibility For Vaccines

New York is dropping the eligible age to get a vaccine to 50 starting Tuesday morning. Connecticut plans to go to 16 in two weeks. CBS2's Lisa Rozner reports.

Video Transcript

DICK BRENNAN: More shots in arms as additional COVID vaccines are shipped to states. But the pace is slower in some places. Welcome back. I'm Dick Brennan.

KRISTINE JOHNSON: And I'm Kristine Johnson. Starting tomorrow, New York drops the eligible age to get a vaccine to 50 years old. And then in two weeks, Connecticut teenagers can get vaccinated. However, New Jersey continues to only offer shots to people 65 and older, as well as teachers and those with underlying health conditions. The question is why. CBS 2's Lisa Rozner reports.

LISA ROZNER: For weeks, teacher Donna Carlin and her husband, Brian, who has a heart condition, tried to get a vaccine appointment through New Jersey's online system.

DONNA CARLIN: We did some at midnight. We did some at 6:00 in the morning. But we couldn't ever find an appointment.

LISA ROZNER: But Donna is not alone. The governor says there are 700 plus sites, yet she and others who are eligible have only been able to secure an appointment through volunteers who monitor the sites 24/7. So today, we asked Governor Murphy, "Supply issues aside, it seems like the state's online registry system isn't that effective. Why is it an issue to get an appointment?"

PHIL MURPHY: If you've not been able to get an appointment, and you're anxious about that, we have nothing but sympathy. And I promise you, you're going to get it. And it may not be as soon as you'd like, but that's because we don't have the supplies that we've liked.

LISA ROZNER: Stats from Johns Hopkins University show in the tri-state, Connecticut is leading the way in terms of percent of the population vaccinated. And New York has vaccinated the most people, more than 2.5 million compared to New Jersey and Connecticut. "How come New Jersey is still stuck at eligibility with 65 years and older."

PHIL MURPHY: We've taken an approach that, right now, if you're 65 and older you're automatically eligible. If you're under 65 and you have a chronic condition, you've been eligible since January. That continues to be the case.

LISA ROZNER: Murphy never answered why we are stuck at 65, but did say he believes everyone will be able to at least register for an appointment by May 1st. Compared to the rest of the country, the Dean of the Rutgers School of Public Health says New Jersey is ahead of the curve.

PERRY HALKITIS: We get to Passover, Easter time in April, we're going to see a lot more vaccine in this country. Because the Production Act isn't kicked in.

LISA ROZNER: He believes New Jersey will achieve herd immunity among adults by this summer. Meantime, the governor says he may have another announcement regarding eligibility later this week. In Trenton, Lisa Rozner, CBS 2 News.

DICK BRENNAN: And today we learned at least one hospital, Holy Name Medical Center, in Teaneck, is no longer scheduling first doses because of what they're calling depleted supply.