Garden State of mind: What drives New Jerseyans to line up early for vaccines?
Some of New Jersey’s larger COVID-19 vaccination sites have seen long lines in recent weeks. In some cases, the reason for the long lines may have had nothing to do with the way the shots were being administered, but more to do with human behavior.
Last week the line at the Meadowlands Expo Center wrapped around the building and people said that they waited for hours in the line. The reason? Too many people showed up early for their appointments.
It is a very “New Jersey” concern – people were worried that if they didn’t show up early, there would be a “screw up” of some sort. Maybe the people running the site would be delayed, or maybe someone else would sneak in ahead of them to get the shot they were supposed to get.
The crowds grew so large that Gov. Phil Murphy had to assure New Jerseyans that if they had an appointment for the vaccine, one would be there waiting for them.
“If you’ve got an appointment there's a vaccine for you. You don't have to worry about camping out or anything like that,” Murphy said. The governor suggested that showing up 15 minutes early was all that was needed.
Things have seemed to mellow out somewhat. News 12’s Brian Donohue says that when he went to the Meadowlands site on Wednesday he did not find anyone there too early.
Nancy Lindsey said that she showed up about 30 minutes early for her 11:50 a.m. appointment and this was mostly because she had just moved to the state and still wasn’t comfortable with New Jersey highways.
“I was just afraid I’d get lost,” she said.
But she says that she wasn’t worried about losing her vaccine.
“I knew that the way they've got it listed and stuff, they've got it pretty well organized,” she said.
Donohue said that all of the chaos and long lines are just more reminders that sometimes New Jerseyans just need to relax and tried not to be so worried all of the time.