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New Jersey Smokers Get Priority in COVID-19 Vaccinations
As the United States struggles to get as many people vaccinated as quickly as possible, states have begun adjusting their priority policies. In New Jersey, all those age 65 and older and individuals between the ages of 16 and 64 with comorbidities that raise their risk of severe COVID-19 illness are eligible to be vaccinated. However, the fact that smokers are included among those who have existing medical conditions has raised some eyebrows. New Jersey, thus far, has received more 700,000 doses, and state public health officials note that smokers are at significant risk due to COVID-19. The decision is controversial as it puts smokers ahead of teachers and transportation workers who are younger than 65 and in good health. Other medical professionals suggest that smoking in and of itself doesn’t raise COVID-19 disease risk, and that smokers with chronic health problems are the only ones who should be included in the high-priority group. Click here to read more.