Home Health News How can I get a COVID vaccine appointment in N.J.? – nj.com

How can I get a COVID vaccine appointment in N.J.? – nj.com

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Hundreds of thousands of New Jerseyans have been trying to get an appointment for a coronavirus vaccine since Wednesday, after Gov. Phil Murphy opened up access to the vaccine to more than 4 million additional people based on expanded federal guidelines.

The announcement last week led to a crush of calls and online attempts to get an appointment. Many were unable to find one and many others said they had to hunt around and spend a lot of time before they were able to book a slot.

If you are eligible, you can sign up directly with vaccine providers.

These can be found on a list provided by the state Department of Health, said Donna Leusner, a health department spokeswoman.

Those locations include county and municipal sites, individual hospitals, pharmacies and ShopRite locations.

“The state list of vaccination locations is a list of facilities that have received vaccine,” Leusner said. “Vaccine supply is limited so individuals may not be able to get appointment right away.”

The list includes telephone numbers and websites for those that have online registrations.

You must have an appointment, said Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli. Facilities will not accept walk-ups, she said.

“People should sign up for any registration site they want to get vaccine,” Leusner said. “We will get to everyone.”

You can also go through the state’s pre-registration system, called the New Jersey Vaccine Scheduling System (NJVSS), but it does not automatically make an appointment, officials said.

When you pre-register, you will eventually receive a notification about when you’re eligible to schedule an appointment, Gov. Phil Murphy said last week. The state will then provide a link where you can select a vaccine location and then you can set an appointment. State officials on Friday didn’t say how long it could take to get an appointment through the state system.

More than 1.5 million people had pre-registered on the state site as of Friday, Murphy said. As of Friday, 66,000 had received notification they were eligible to sign up for an appointment, and of those, 10,371 had booked an appointment through the state site, officials said.

CORONAVIRUS RESOURCES: Live map tracker | Newsletter | Homepage

But not all vaccine administrators are linked to the state site, Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli said Friday. Some vaccine sites are connected to the state’s system while others, like hospitals, have their own registration systems, she said.

“It’s a little clunkier than we would like,” she said.

The state said eventually there will be more than 250 sites offering vaccines, however, the state has not released information on how many of those sites are linked to the state’s registration system. And many people have said they have booked by going directly to a vaccine administrator, including hospitals, county locations, clinics and retail providers.

But at least one provider listed on the state’s site, Inspira Health, is only accepting appointments through the state site, spokesman Paul Simon said.

Inspira Medical Center Mullica Hill and Inspira Medical Center Vineland are not accepting phone appointments at its two vaccine locations, he said. The two locations received 1,600 vaccine requests on Thursday alone, he said.

“Any member of the general public who is currently eligible to receive the vaccine will need to register and then sign up (pick a date and time) through the state website, covidvaccine.nj.gov,” Simon said.

You can also turn to four of the state’s six mega-sites.

The open locations are the Moorestown Mall in Burlington County, Rowan College of South Jersey in Gloucester County, the New Jersey Convention and Exposition Center in Middlesex County and Rockaway Townsquare in Morris County. Two additional sites will open later in East Rutherford and Atlantic City.

Each of the mega-sites requests people register through the locations’ online registration systems. Walk-ins are not accepted.

Many sites across the state don’t have enough vaccine supply to meet demand, so some have paused their reservation systems and will only make more dates available when they get more doses.

State officials said as of now, the state expects to get another 100,000 doses a week, and they hope those numbers will increase in the weeks and months to come. Persichilli said last week that the state could handle 470,000 weekly vaccinations if the federal government could supply the doses.

Right now, those eligible for a vaccine include those 65 an older and people from age 16 to 64 with certain some underlying medical conditions that the CDC lists as putting people at “increased risk of severe illness” if they infected are with the virus: cancer, chronic kidney disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), Down Syndrome, heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies, those in an immunocompromised state from solid organ transplant, obesity, severe obesity, pregnancy, sickle cell disease, smoking and Type 2 diabetes.

“Severe illness” from COVID-19 is defined by the CDC as needing hospitalization, admission to the ICU, intubation or mechanical ventilation.

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NJ Advance Media reporter Avalon Zoppo contributed to this report.

Karin Price Mueller may be reached at KPriceMueller@NJAdvanceMedia.com.

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