Senate President Stephen Sweeney
Deputy Speaker John Burzichelli
Assemblyman Adam Taliaferro

Scott Fallon

The Murphy administration unveiled a phone line on Tuesday in an attempt to help people get information on how to get a COVID-19 vaccine shot.

But the automated phone line — 855-568-0545 — tells callers to go to a state website to find out where to find a vaccine provider, something that will not help some elderly New Jerseyans who don’t have a computer or struggle to use one.

That won’t likely change until Monday, Jan. 25, when 250 live agents staff the line from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Gov. Phil Murphy said Tuesday that the state was busy training call center workers.

The move comes more than a month into the vaccination campaign and almost a week after Murphy opened eligibility to about 4 million more people, including those with chronic health conditions, smokers and anyone 65 and older.

New Jersey gets only about 100,000 doses from the federal government each month, making demand far outweigh supply. Many providers have been turning away those seeking an appointment.

New Jersey’s vaccine rollout has been heavily dependent on online resources — a complaint many seniors have with a system that they believe should prioritize them. About 80% of New Jersey’s 20,000 COVID deaths have been among people 65 and older.

The registration portal sends emails to those who are eligible with appointment information for local providers. “It may be some time before you receive an invitation even if you are currently eligible,” Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli said Tuesday.

Health care workers, nursing home residents, inmates and police and firefighters are also eligible.

“The vaccine is very limited and will be for some time,” she said.

District Offices

Gloucester County

Kingsway Commons
935 Kings Highway, Suite 400
West Deptford, NJ 08086
Phone: (856) 251-9801
Fax: (856) 251-9752

Salem/Cumberland Counties

The Finlaw Building
199 East Broadway, Suite G
Salem, NJ 08079
Phone: (856) 339-0808 or
             (856) 455-1011
Fax: (856) 339-9626