People in NJ having trouble getting required 2nd dose of vaccine
As New Jersey’s COVID vaccine rollout continues, some people who have received their first shot of either the Pfizer or the Moderna vaccine have not been able to get an appointment for their second shot, which is required for the vaccine to be highly effective.
According to state Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli, most vaccine sites are making second shot appointments when the first one is given. But it has come to the attention of the Health Department that a few sites, including the Gloucester County vaccine location at Rowan College, are not doing that.
Public health officials, however, say everyone who needs a second shot will get one.
People getting their first COVID vaccine at Rowan College, Raritan Valley Community College and other locations, including Monroe, have complained they were not be given an appointment for a second shot and were told they needed to do that through the New Jersey Vaccination Scheduling System portal. But when they tried to do that there were no available appointments.
Persichilli said the state has a list of vaccination sites where second-dose appointments have not been made and they have all received an email telling them they need to reach out and make appointments for everyone who has been given a first shot.
She also noted not all vaccine sites are connected to the NJVSS but they soon will be, which will more easily allow second-shot appointments to be made.
“We will follow up on every single one of them," Persichilli said about the complaints she received. "The second doses are set aside so people will get their second dose, so we have to make sure they have their appointments to get their second dose.”
She said starting Friday the state’s vaccine website will begin letting people make a second-shot appointment.
Persichilli said the state’s vaccination call center, which opened for business at 8 a.m. on Monday with about 250 trained operators, received more than 58,000 calls by noon.
The call center is available to answer vaccine-related questions at 855-568-0545 from 8.a.m. until 8 p.m. 7 days a week.