TRENTON, NJ -- Gov. Phil Murphy today during his COVID-19 press briefing announced that nearly half a million New Jersey residents have pre-registered to receive the coronavirus vaccine and that additional vaccine distribution centers will open. He also made a plea for retired health care professionals to volunteer to help with the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine in the state.

"More than 450,000 New Jerseyans preregistered for their #COVID19 vaccinations yesterday – the day our portal went live," Murphy said. "This number gives us great optimism as we continue to roll out our robust statewide vaccine program. The reason you register is that your name is in the system. You'll be given to option of where to get it."

According to the state's vaccine pre-registration website:

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COVID-19 vaccines are on the way to hospitals and clinics across New Jersey. You can reserve your spot to get a vaccine now by pre-registering here. We’ll ask some questions to determine when you are eligible to receive a vaccination. Filling out this form should take about 15 minutes, and the information you enter will be kept private with the State of New Jersey. Click below to reserve your spot.

Gov. Murphy and NJ Health Commissioner Persichilli plan to be in North Jersey on Friday to visiting two vaccination centers that are opening: Hospital Rockaway Townsquare Mall in Morris County, which is operating in partnership with Atlantic Health, and Hospital Essex County vaccination center in West Orange. Additionally, the state's second vaccine mega-site will open at Rowan College in South Jersey on Friday.

"Our top priority remains vaccinating New Jerseyans in the 1a category, which includes our front line health care workers, and residents and staff at our long-term care centers," Murphy said. "Effective tomorrow, police and fire professionals will be eligible to receive their #COVID19 vaccinations."

The governor hopes to have additional help at these centers so that shots can distribute the vaccine more efficiently. Retired health care professionals with vaccination skills can volunteer with the New Jersey Medical Reserve Corps by registering at today.

"New Jersey is actively looking for retired health care professionals with vaccination skills to volunteer with the New Jersey Medical Reserve Corps. We need you," Murphy said.

Latest New Jersey COVID-19 Numbers:

  • 5,028 new positive PCR tests
  • 504,647 total PCR tests
  • 921 new positive antigen tests
  • 52,624 total antigen tests

"More than one in every 20 New Jerseyans has now tested positive," the governor said.

As of Tuesday night:

  • 3,744 patients in our hospitals
  • 668 patients in our ICUs
  • 456 ventilators in use
  • 449 patients discharged
  • 459 COVID-positive patients admitted
  • 62 in-hospital deaths