New Jersey has launched an online portal called the New Jersey Vaccine Scheduling System (NJVSS), which allows residents to register for a COVID-19 vaccination appointment. When Governor Phil Murphy announced the portal, he said, “This is our central online location for official vaccine-related information and will also serve as a ‘landing page’ for our vaccine registration portal in the near future.”
Although the current phase of the vaccine’s rollout allows only nursing home caretakers and residents as well as healthcare professionals to receive the vaccine, the portal initially allowed anyone to pre-register for a slot. However, the online portal was soon overwhelmed by a huge number of users, resulting in widespread reports of unsuccessful login attempts and accompanying error messages, as well as a few unusual glitches relating to birth dates.
As a result, officials are asking that only healthcare professionals access the portal at this time. In an official statement, the New Jersey Department of Health said, “If you are a health care worker in category 1a who has yet to be vaccinated, the Department of Health encourages you to go online and pre-register. Because the vaccine is limited, the Department encourages only health care workers to pre-register at this time.”
Ms. Leusner, a representative of the Department of Health, also added, “The NJVSS is a way for [healthcare workers] to pre-register. The value of NJVSS is to link up people who want the vaccine with those who are delivering the vaccine.”
The majority of healthcare workers in the Garden State —including those at urgent care centers, physician’s offices, private clinics, and dental offices — do not work in a hospital, and thus likely do not have access to a hospital’s proprietary registration system. Resultantly, they will be required to use the new portal. Those who do have access to a proprietary registration system, however, will be able to make use of that in place of the state’s portal.
Once New Jersey proceeds to subsequent phases of the coronavirus vaccine rollout, other people, including essential workers, the elderly, and eventually the general population, will be able to use the system to pre-register for a vaccine appointment.