Some New Jersey Residents Have COVID Vaccine Appointments Canceled After Calling State's Hotline

In New Jersey, problems persist for those making appointments for the COVID vaccine. Some people who booked appointments through the state's hotline say they were abruptly canceled; CBS2's Meg Baker reports.

Video Transcript

- Well, in New Jersey, problems do persist for those making appointments for the COVID vaccine.

- Some people who have booked appointments through the state's hotline say they've been abruptly canceled. CBS News Meg Baker has this.

MEG BAKER: I walked with Valerie Murray-Taitel towards the New Bridge Medical Center vaccination site in Paramus, where she was told she had an appointment by an agent on the state's hotline number. Then--

VALERIE MURRAY-TAITEL: Unfortunately, the day before our appointment was scheduled, we get an email with no explanation as to why that the appointment had been canceled.

MEG BAKER: Canceled after hours of circling websites for an appointment, finally getting through to an agent on the hotline-- canceled.

VALERIE MURRAY-TAITEL: We don't know if we have been canceled because of an IT glitch, because there's not enough vaccine, or perhaps this is just terribly mismanaged.

MEG BAKER: So she showed up anyway with her husband for the appointments. And after some confusion inside, she got lucky.

VALERIE MURRAY-TAITEL: So it's official. We were told that the confirmation letter we had was invalid, even though it was from the New Jersey Department of Health. We were re registered once we got there.

MEG BAKER: And vaccinated. I asked the governor and health commissioner about this.

What caused this? There's a lot of confusion out there. Will they automatically be rescheduled, or will they have to go through the booking process all over again?

- We've had very significant vendor issues.

JUDY PERSICHILLI: Most of them were rectified the same day. People were told to show up. If they were not, they would get-- they will get a phone call or another message.

On the other hand, we have had some glitches with the scheduling system that people are working 24/7, along with Microsoft, to work them through.

MEG BAKER: Should people show up anyway?

- Could you get lucky and get the-- yeah, that's-- yes, you could. But there's probably a bigger chance you won't.

VALERIE MURRAY-TAITEL: I don't doubt that there are people who got the cancellation email and didn't show up.

MEG BAKER: Taitel said she was directed to a website to reschedule the canceled appointments, but nothing was available. She's happy she made the decision to show up anyway. In Paramus, New Jersey, Meg Baker, CBS 2 News.

- And the state's hotline will no longer be used to book appointments.