In less than two days, more than 450,000 Garden State residents have pre-registered on New Jersey’s new COVID-19 Information Hub portal to be able to receive information about when they can get the vaccine once it becomes available.

The Hub, part of the website, experienced technical problems on Tuesday because so many people logged on to pre-register. The issues now appear to have been fixed, according to Gov. Phil Murphy.

During Wednesday’s update in Trenton, he said the current vaccination focus continues to be on category 1A, frontline healthcare workers and long term care residents and staff. But starting Thursday, police and firefighters, who are technically in the 1B category, will also be able to get vaccinated.

Others in 1B, including people age 75 and older, as well as essential workers who are employed in supermarkets, corrections departments, the U.S. Post Office, daycare centers and public transit, will soon be able to get a vaccine as well.

Next in line will be those state residents in the 1C category, including those over the age of 64 and younger people with high risk health issues.

After that, the vaccine program will open up to the rest of the state population.

“By pre-registering you’ll be among the very first to know, when the time comes, for you to roll up your sleeves,” said Murphy.

He noted pre-registering is not required to be able to get a vaccine.

Murphy added down the line, after vaccines have been given to all higher risk groups and the process has been opened to everyone else, “I think there’s going to be a moment ... where you just pull up in your car to one of these mega-sites and you’re getting vaccinated.”

Vaccine mega-sites in the Rockaway Square Mall and Rowan College will open on Friday, and four additional mega-sites will start up in the coming weeks.

State Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli said once we do get additional supplies, those who have pre-registered will be notified by email.

She noted there are about 650,000 individuals in the 1A category, and in categories 1B and 1C there are an estimated 2,500,000.

Dr. Eddy Bresnitz, the New Jersey COVID-19 response medical advisor and a former state epidemiologist, said if hospitals, clinics or vaccine mega-sites wind up with extra doses at the end of a particular day because people with appointments didn’t show up, “we’re encouraging people not to throw those doses away."

"If you can’t find anybody in that phase (category), then grab who you can and use those doses. Don’t get rid of them," he said.

Information that is given during the online pre-registration process will remain private and confidential.

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