NJ COVID-19 vaccine website crashes on first week
New Jersey on Monday launched its online COVID-19 vaccine pre-registration portal, which crashed, at least temporarily, as the system dealt with high volume from users anxious to "get in line."
By Tuesday morning, clicking on the button to pre-register prompted the following message, at least sporadically:
“We're sorry, but something went wrong. Please try again, and if this persists, contact the website administrator.”
Along with an error identification number the message said: “We've been notified about this issue and we'll take a look at it shortly. Thank you for your patience.”
The state Department of Health noted around 11 a.m. that they would be issuing a statement addressing the issue.
For users who do successfully manage to begin the questionnaire, it asks for name, address, phone number, birth date, race, gender, and whether the person is insured or not.
From there, screening questions ask what field of work a person is in and whether the person has any of nearly 20 medical conditions, including asthma, diabetes, a history or current diagnosis of cancer, and others.
The questionnaire asks whether a person is pregnant or suspects it to be possible, and also asks if the person has ever tested positive for COVID-19 or had a blood test that indicated antibodies from the virus.
As is standard with any vaccination approach, the screening questions also ask if the person has a history of severe allergic reactions.
For those who completed their online pre-registration and were not qualified to receive a vaccine in phase 1A, an email then is sent out with the following message:
“You’re on the list! Appointments to schedule your vaccine visit are not yet available, but we have successfully received your registration. COVID-19 vaccinations will be made available in phases to ensure those most at risk are prioritized. We will send you an email when it is time for you to schedule an appointment."
By late Tuesday morning, there were reports of a few people who had completed the pre-registration process but had not yet received a confirmation email.
At Monday's state briefing on pandemic response, Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli said that the Professional Advisory Committee was continuing its weekly meetings schedule and would be discussing 1B categorization and vaccine prioritization.
State guidance updated in late December said there were roughly 650,000 people in New Jersey who are eligible for Phase 1A, made up of an extensive list of health care personnel and health care settings, including long-term care residents and staff.
Gov. Phil Murphy announced that 101,417 COVID-19 vaccinations had been administered to the first segment of New Jersey recipients as of Monday.
The state has reported receiving a collective total of just over 400,000 vaccine doses, which the health commissioner noted on Monday go out to each individual vaccination site.