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January 05, 2021

New Jersey's COVID-19 vaccine portal overwhelmed by people signing up for shots

The new tool allows residents to register to be immunized before becoming eligible

Health News Vaccines
new jersey vaccine website Source/Image licensed by Ingram Image

New Jersey's new COVID-19 vaccine portal allows residents to sign up to be immunized in advance of becoming eligible.

New Jersey launched an online portal that allows residents to register for COVID-19 vaccines Tuesday. But users quickly began experiencing issues.

The new sign-up tool allows people to register for a coronavirus vaccine before becoming eligible. 

Some users who tried to select "pre-register for the vaccine" and fill out the online form received error messages. Others reportedly could not enter their birth dates. The issues began shortly after 9 a.m.

The New Jersey Department of Health said the issues were a result of a high volume of people attempting to use the portal

"Some users may experience a temporary delay as the system scales to meet demand," spokesperson Donna Leusner told She encouraged people to withhold registering unless they are a health care worker included in the first phase of the rollout. 

A few people turned to Twitter to express their frustration with the portal's issues.

The tool is part of New Jersey's new website for vaccine news and resources. Once working properly, it will allow residents to sign up for vaccination before their priority group becomes eligible. Users will need to enter personal information, including their occupation and medical history, to determine their priority group. 

New Jersey currently is vaccinating front-line health care workers and long-term care facility residents and staffers as part of Phase 1a. This groups includes about 650,000 people. Around 100,000 people already have been vaccinated, New Jersey officials said Monday.

During Phase 1b, front-line essential workers, such as public transit employees, police, firefighters, postal workers and educators, will be vaccinated. The group also will include people over age 75. 

Phase 1b includes around 30 million people.

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