New Jersey vaccine hotline flooded with calls on first day

MOORESTOWN, New Jersey (WPVI) -- New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy said 17,000 calls flooded the new vaccine hotline and is urging the public for patience.

As people were vaccinated in New Jersey on Monday, some said the appointment was not the easiest to secure.

"It's confusing because you register with the state and you don't hear anything from them and then you start looking at different sites," said Andrew Cohan of Cherry Hill.

On Monday, the Garden State launched a phone line to help people with the website, and with scheduling.

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"Our toll-free vaccination hotline went live to assist residents with general questions about vaccines, identifying whether or not they're currently eligible for a vaccination," said Governor Murphy.

Action News heard from viewers who couldn't get through to an operator and said a long recorded message keeps directing them to New Jersey's COVID-19 website.

State officials said 250 trained operators were able to register at least 500 new people into the state's vaccine registry and more operators will be added to manage call volume.

The call center will be professionally staffed with live agents from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. The number to call is 1-855-568-0545.

State officials still say they don't have enough vaccine to meet demand.

In Gloucester County, the megasite at Rowan College had no scheduled appointments Monday because this week's shipment of doses hadn't arrived.

6abc spoke to one woman who said she has homes in both Florida and New Jersey. She thinks she'll get the vaccine faster in Florida.

"I'll go back in about two weeks and I think it's going to open up a little bit more and I'll probably have a better chance," said Denise Yocum of Pitman.

New Jersey Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli said it's likely that more vaccine manufacturers like Johnson & Johnson's will be approved in the coming weeks, and hopes that will add to New Jersey's vaccine supply.

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