Appointments are no longer required to get the COVID-19 vaccine at New Jersey's six state megasites starting Thursday, according to the state Department of Health.

No appointment is needed for to receive the vaccine at the megasites in Atlantic City at the Convention Center, the Meadowlands race track in East Rutherford, Moorestown Mall, Rowan College of South Jersey, the Convention & Expo Center in Edison and the Rockaway Townsquare Mall.

No reason was offered for the sudden availability of appointments or how many vaccinations will be available at each location.

The centers are open to anyone who lives, works or studies in New Jersey. It also does not make a difference the county a resident lives in.

The push is on at a state and national level to get more people to take the vaccination.

Gov. Phil Murphy at Wednesday's coronavirus briefing announced a contest for people to share their reason for getting the vaccine and to encourage others. Several videos will be selected as finalists with a public vote to determine a winner to be part of the state's COVID-19 public health campaign.

As of Thursday morning nearly 7 million doses had been administered; 2.9 million are fully vaccinated with with either the single shot Johnson & Johnson or both Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.

President Joe Biden during his joint speech to Congress on Wednesday night said the vaccine is helping the country get back to normal living.

“Getting together with friends, going to the park for a picnic without needing to mask up, we’re back to that place now as long as you get vaccinated,” Biden said. “So go get the shot.”

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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