New Jersey COVID-19 vaccine scheduling site crashes due to high demand

MAYS LANDING, New Jersey (WPVI) -- Some Garden State health care workers hoping to schedule a COVID-19 vaccine encountered challenges on Tuesday.

The state's newly launched portal crashed because of the high volume.

A Health Department spokesperson told Action News "some users may experience a temporary delay as the system scales to meet demand." Adding the state is asking only health care workers to pre-register at this time.

Those that could receive a vaccine, are excited, to say the least.

"Thrilled. Absolutely thrilled," said Upper Deerfield dental hygienist Sandra Alonso Perez.

Perez is now among the more than 100,000 vaccinated in the state. She's also part of the state's plan to vaccinate 70% of the adult population in 6 months.

"I'm going to feel a lot safer going to work every day, working so close to patients," she said.

A clinic in Mays Landing, which is a partnership between Atlantic County Division of Public Health and Atlantic Cape Community College, offered about 200 doses of the Moderna vaccine for community health care workers who fall into the first phase of the state's vaccine rollout plan.

That's amongst the more than 500,000 vaccines in the state that are being divided between hospitals and long-term care facilities.

"A lot of your health care workers in hospitals are being done by the hospitals themselves. However, those individuals that are in other offices are being done here," said Atlantic County Public Health Officer Patricia Diamond.

That includes physical therapist Ryan Buccafurni.

"As a health care practitioner, somebody's that treats patients all day long, I felt like it was the best decision for me to make," Buccafurni said.

Because appointments are becoming increasingly difficult to get, the state is preparing to open six so-called "mega-sites" for distribution including the Atlantic City Convention Center.

The hope is that 2,400 people could be vaccinated daily once the site is open potentially later this month.

Select ShopRite Pharmacies will also help with distribution.
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