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45,000 tried to book COVID-19 vaccination at Atlantic City mega site on first day, 3,000 succeeded
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45,000 tried to book COVID-19 vaccination at Atlantic City mega site on first day, 3,000 succeeded

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Atlantic City Mega Site

First Lady Tammy Murphy wife of the 56th Governor of New Jersey Phil Murphy talk with Sylvia Alston of Egg Harbor Township before receiving her vaccine shot at Atlantic City Convention Center mega site Tuesday Jan 26, 2021.Tammy Murphy, who is a strong advocate for family health through her Nurture NJ initiative. Edward Lea / Staff Photographer Press of Atlantic City

Atlantic County's vaccine clinic begins Jan. 5 at Atlantic Cape Community College Gymnasium for individuals who qualify under the state's vaccination plan, currently in phase 1A in Mays Landing, NJ.

ATLANTIC CITY — About 45,000 people visited an AtlantiCare website Tuesday seeking an appointment at the Atlantic County COVID-19 vaccination mega site, and about 3,000 succeeded, a spokesperson said this week.

It was the first day of operation for the website, and it remained open for just over an hour before all appointments were booked. Then a message went up encouraging people to try again another time, after more vaccine is received, but did not say when it would reopen for appointments.

“AtlantiCare is pleased so many members of the community want to be vaccinated,” said spokesperson Jennifer Tornetta. “We understand the frustration that the members of our community — and those throughout New Jersey and the nation — are experiencing in scheduling an appointment to get the vaccine.”

AtlantiCare and Atlantic County are managing the vaccine mega site at the Atlantic City Convention Center, which opened Jan. 22 and hosted New Jersey first lady Tammy Murphy on Tuesday.

Tornetta said AtlantiCare wants to vaccinate every eligible person in the community, but more vaccine supply is needed to do that.

“We do not control the amount of vaccination we receive,” Tornetta said.

She said the first shipment of vaccine for the mega site was enough to provide 975 doses, and the slightly more than 3,000 doses of vaccine received this week enabled AtlantiCare to schedule 480 appointments a day through Feb. 2.

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“We open appointment scheduling only after we receive doses to ensure that we will have enough for the appointments individuals book. We appreciate the community’s patience and understanding as we work with our health care colleagues and leaders throughout the state to secure more vaccinations so we can end this pandemic,” Tornetta said. “We share your frustration and assure you we are doing everything we can to get vaccinations to our community.”

Meanwhile, Atlantic County has obtained a limited supply of first doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for its clinic at Atlantic Cape Community College, the county said Friday.

County officials did not release the exact number of additional doses they received.

“We’ve received some additional doses, but the vaccine supply is still extremely limited,” County Executive Dennis Levinson said in a news release. “We recognize that we will not be able to satisfy all those who seek appointments. The overwhelming demand outnumbers the current supply. We were given these additional first doses by the state with the understanding that after their distribution we would then be transitioning our staff and resources to the mega site in Atlantic City.”

The Division of Public Health will begin providing second doses Feb. 2 to 18 for those who received their first doses Jan. 5 to 21. Eligible second dose recipients will be notified by email or phone to schedule their appointments, the release said. Emails are being sent out in batches about a week before the due date for second doses. State officials encourage everyone to get their second doses from the same provider who provided their first doses.

The AtlantiCare vaccination appointment site will reopen when more vaccine supply is received. Check back regularly at vaccination.atlanticare.org.

A list of other vaccination locations throughout the state is available at covid19.nj.gov. Those without internet access may get help with information and eventually with making appointments by calling 855-568-0545.

Staff Writer Ahmad Austin contributed to this report.

Contact: 609-272-7219

mpost@pressofac.com

Twitter @MichelleBPost

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Staff Writer

In my first job after college got paid to read the New York Times and summarize articles for an early online data base. First reporting job was with The Daily Record in Parsippany. I have also worked in nonprofits, and have been with The Press since 1990.

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