Pharmacy chains begin vaccinating in New Jersey by appointment

VOORHEES, TWP. New Jersey (WPVI) -- Select Rite Aid and CVS pharmacies began vaccinating eligible people in New Jersey by appointment on Friday.

Some people made it in on the first day, after thinking they would have to wait weeks or months for an appointment.

Pattie Hart woke up to some news in a New Jersey vaccine Facebook group: people were booking appointments at local Rite Aid pharmacies.

"It was blasted all over," she said.

Before she knew it she had two appointments for herself and her husband, Bill, at the Rite Aid in Cinnaminson, N.J.

"I just clicked on the link and followed the directions and here we are," said Pattie.

"We're going to be doing some traveling so we want to make sure we're ok, and the fact that I'm 72. We want to make sure I'm ok," said Bill.

Rite Aid officials say each participating pharmacy will get 100 doses from the federal government every week, so they expect appointments to fill up quickly. Appointments can be made at Rite Aid's website.

Certain CVS locations in New Jersey began vaccinating Friday as well. A check of the CVS website Friday afternoon showed all New Jersey locations fully booked.

During Friday's COVID-19 briefing, Gov. Phil Murphy announced plans to open community vaccine sites in 10 New Jersey cities hit hard by the virus. Trenton and Vineland were two of the cities announced. Specific locations were not disclosed.

"To stay on track toward our goal of equity in these high-need communities these sites will be closed points of distribution for members of the immediate community only," said Murphy.

Many are still waiting. Action News spoke with people who have tried several locations with no luck in finding a shot over the past several weeks, and didn't have any luck Friday either at local pharmacies.

Brian Fricker of Cinnaminson is still looking, despite trying Rite Aid's website.

"I saw it this morning and by the time I went on the site it was already full."
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