What to Know
- New Jerseyans briefly had access to Hackensack Meridian Health's vaccine registration portal despite limited eligibility so far reserved for healthcare personnel and first responders
- Hackensack Meridian says it will email those who are not yet qualified that their appointments will be canceled
- More than 214,000 people in the state have already been inoculated with the vaccine, Murphy disclosed at his Monday briefing; close to 15,000 of that group have received their first and second shots
New Jersey residents began to sign up to get their COVID-19 vaccinations over the weekend, except they aren't supposed to be able to do that unless they're healthcare personnel, law enforcement, fire professionals or first responders.
Hackensack Meridian Health system, the largest hospital system in the state, on Sunday says its vaccine registration portal was opened up to anyone who had the link because it didn't have any filter to ensure those in 1A and 1B vaccine priority groups were the only people who could register.
The link to the registration somehow started getting out to people in other groups and an unknown number of people signed up, according to the hospital system.
Hackensack Meridian says it will email those who are not yet qualified that their appointments will be canceled.
"We have added additional educational information as well as enhanced ID requirements to ensure that only those eligible for the vaccine receive it, in accordance with New Jersey and federal guidelines," Hackensack said in a statement to NBC New York.
Meanwhile, IT engineers are working through the night to put a filter on their registration portal. A spokesperson for the hospital system added that no one who wasn't qualified to get a dose has received a shot at this point.
"We understand that many in our communities are eager to get vaccinated. Once permissible under state and federal guidelines, we will make the vaccine available to the general public," the statement continued.
Gov. Phil Murphy announced just last week that police and firefighters were eligible for the vaccine. Health care workers and patients in long-term care facilities continue to be given highest priority to get the vaccine.
More than 214,000 people in the state have already been inoculated with the vaccine, Murphy disclosed at his Monday briefing. Close to 15,000 of that group have received their first and second shots. Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli said the goal is to finish vaccinating health care workers and essential workers — more than 3 million people in all — by May.
The state's COVID dashboard has been expanded to display a breakdown among counties as well as demographics of gender, race and ethnicity of New Jersey's vaccinated population.
Gov. Murphy is scheduled to deliver his State of the State address on Tuesday at 1 p.m.