Murphy issues ‘clarification’ on NJ COVID vaccine mandate
Healthcare workers and others that work in so-called "congregate settings" will not have to receive a second booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine to keep their jobs.
Gov. Phil Murphy issued a new executive order on Wednesday that clarified the definition of “up to date” to include only one booster dose and to clarify that a second booster dose is not required.
In a statement, Murphy urged healthcare workers to voluntarily get the second dose, as he said he did himself, but is not making it a requirement of employment.
"Even though it is not required, I encourage New Jerseyans who the CDC has advised would benefit from their second booster to roll up their sleeves and give themselves an added dose of defense against COVID-19, like I did yesterday," Murphy said.
Under Executive Order No. 294: "A covered worker is considered “up to date with their COVID-19 vaccinations” if they have received a primary series, which consists of either a 2-dose series of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine or a single dose COVID-19 vaccine and the first booster dose for which they are eligible, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention."
The clarification comes just days after the April 11 deadline for healthcare workers to prove they had gotten boosted, or risk losing their jobs.
The numbers here in New Jersey and from around the nation are clear – getting boosted is directly linked to less-severe COVID-19 symptoms and illness and far lower rates of hospitalization and death. Our steadfast vaccination efforts have effectively lowered the risk we face in New Jersey, and as we navigate the path to normalcy, we must continue to do all we can to protect ourselves, our families, and our communities. - Gov. Phil Murphy
It is unclear how many healthcare workers have refused to get the extra dose of COVID vaccine.
New Jersey hospitals had reported better than 90% compliance with the original order requiring full vaccination, but The New Jersey Hospital Association says they do not have figures on booster compliance.
In the general population, 6,840,819 people who live, work or study in New Jersey have received the first full course of vaccination. However, less than half have received even one booster dose.
Eric Scott is the senior political director and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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