NJ COVID vaccine call center hits pause over double-booked shots
The New Jersey vaccine call center has put a "temporary pause" on being able to schedule vaccine appointments after problems including double-booked appointments.
More training would be provided to the live agents staffing the hotline, focused on the use of the scheduling system in order to avoid future scheduling conflicts, state Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli said Wednesday during a videoconference pandemic briefing.
Just two days earlier, Persichilli noted that the call center had handled more than 16,000 calls last weekend.
Roughly 250 people staffing the center are "all working remotely and they are all from New Jersey," Persichilli said, when asked about the agents' locations.
The computerized appointment system run by Microsoft also was presenting daily challenges since the call center first launched weeks ago, according to Persichilli and Gov. Phil Murphy.
The vaccine hotline, 855-568-0545, will be available to help callers with questions about vaccine eligibility and where vaccines are being given, the commissioner said. People still can pre-register online and make an appointment directly at a designated vaccine site.
Wednesday's state briefing had been switched to a virtual one after a member of Murphy's family tested positive for COVID-19.
Though the governor did not qualify as an "exposed close contact," according to a spokesman, Murphy cancelled all in-person appearances and would be voluntarily quarantining before resuming any such activities.
“It’s not the first lady,” the governor said, when asked about the case during the briefing, noting that while his family has continued to observe social distance and other protocols in their home, "we are still living in the same house."
Murphy received a coronavirus test earlier Wednesday as part of his regularly-scheduled testing regime, which came back negative.
A family selfie posted to social media on Jan. 23 by Tammy Murphy included all four of the Murphy children, the youngest of whom is in high school.
Contact tracing has begun to notify everyone who may have come into contact with the governor’s relative during the potential infection window.
Back in October, Murphy and the first lady isolated for roughly a week, after at least two members of the governor's staff tested positive for coronavirus.