Unclear Whether Or Not Dealership Employees Are Deemed Essential For Vaccination Purposes

New Jersey Opens Pre-Registration For COVID Vaccine

Jan 07, 2021

New Jersey recently opened an online portal (https://covidvaccine.nj.gov/) to allow people to pre-register to receive the COVID-19 vaccine and announced a preliminary vaccination schedule. The portal asks individuals to enter some personal information, answer a few questions and select a job category from a list. The information provided will determine the priority order in which individuals receive the vaccine.  The website indicates the individual will be contacted as it gets closer to the time for them to actually receive the vaccine so they can schedule an appointment at a convenient location.

Priority Order For Vaccination

Healthcare workers and nursing home residents and employees are deemed Group 1a and will be the first to receive the vaccination. Group 1b, made up of “frontline essential workers” and people who are 75 and older, will be next. Group 1c consists of people between the ages of 16 and 64 with high-risk conditions, other adults 65-75 years old and “other essential workers.” Once those groups have received the vaccination, it will become available to the broader population in a Phase 2 distribution. The State hopes to vaccinate 70% of New Jersey adults (about 4.7 million people) in the next six months and said doses should be available for the general public by April or May.

What Does This Mean For Auto Dealerships?

While auto repair and auto sales were deemed “essential” by Governor Murphy’s Executive Orders issued in the early months of the pandemic, there is confusion whether that designation translates to the order in which the vaccine will be distributed in New Jersey. Are dealers in Group 1b (frontline essential workers), Group 1c (other essential workers) or are they being looked at individually to determine if they are Group 1b, Group 1c or part of the Phase 2 distribution?

It’s worth noting that auto repair and sales are not among the job categories listed on the vaccination pre-registration portal.  NJ CAR has asked the Governors’ Office to clarify the status of auto repair and sales personnel and to add the appropriate category to the list of jobs on the portal.  In the meantime, the only option will be to select “None of the Above” on the list of job categories.

NJ CAR will continue seeking clarification on this issue and will report any updates as they become available.