Essex County Commissioner President – Wayne L. Richardson
I support Governor Murphy’s decision to expand the list of residents eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Starting on March 15th, the new eligible groups include all educators and staff in Pre-K through 12th grade settings, childcare workers, public and local transportation workers, members of tribal communities, and individuals in domestic violence shelters as well as those experiencing homelessness. Additionally, on March 29th, residents in additional groups including those working in food production, agriculture, food distribution, warehousing and logistics, social services support staff, and the clergy will also be eligible for vaccination.
Our people, specifically our young people in Essex County and all over the nation, are our most precious resource. Although we temporarily closed our schools and have been engaging in remote learning to keep our communities safe, it is clear that schools need to re-open as soon as they are deemed safe, and school teachers should be among the groups that are prioritized with respect to receiving the vaccine. In order for our teachers to provide a safe learning environment for our children, we as leaders in government must do our part to help them feel safe. Prioritizing teachers and ensuring they can receive the vaccine is a prudent course of action, and I applaud the Governor for this decision.