New Jersey coronavirus update: Vaccine phone line now open to answer questions

Coronavirus Update New Jersey
NEW JERSEY (WABC) -- A vaccine phone line went up in New Jersey on Monday morning with 250 agents ready to answer calls and so far the response has been overwhelming.

The number to call is 855-568-0545. Callers can get questions answered, learn about where to get vaccines and go over eligibility.

The hotline will be open 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. every day.

In the first hour alone, the hotline received 17,000 calls. By noon, the hotline had received more than 58,000 calls.

Gov. Phil Murphy said he will continue to ensure an equitable distribution of the COVID vaccine across the state.

Because of vaccine shortages, the 24 /7 Gloucester mega vaccination site at Rowan College is closed Monday. Vaccinations are expected to resume Tuesday.

Murphy said the state is still in need of more federal assistance as the state tries to keep up with the demand for the shots.

"I'm confident the Biden administration will work through this over the course of weeks. But we have well over 2 million people who have already pre-registered for the vaccine. And we have heard from our seniors, many of whom don't have access to the internet. So, that's not an option for them. So that's why opening up this call center at 8am tomorrow is hopefully going to be a game-changer for them in particular," Murphy said.

Meantime, many people started to get their second dose of the Moderna vaccine over the weekend. With the state's positivity rate being just over 10%, second doses become that much more important.

Health care workers who received their first dose 28 days ago are now getting their second dose as scheduled amid concerns of widespread availability in New Jersey.

A vaccine center in Newark at Essex County College, one of the first to be opened, administered second doses to those health care workers.

The state has six vaccine mega-sites open -- the most recent opened last Friday in East Rutherford at the Meadowlands.

However, there are more people eligible to be vaccinated than there are available vaccines.

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