Those eligible for Phase 1B in Philadelphia could get the coronavirus vaccine at a mass clinic starting February 22, the city said on Tuesday, while warning those further in the line that the current phase could take weeks.
The city’s health department will run three first-dose clinics and three second-dose clinics per week with the goal of vaccinating around 500 patients per day, Health Commissioner Dr Thomas Farley told reporters.
The health service will contact people and ask them to make an appointment. He will move down his list of those eligible for Phase 1B who have completed the Vaccine Interest Registration form at phila.gov/vaccineinterest. People without reliable internet access or computer skills can register through the city’s COVID call center at 215-685-5488.
To be eligible for the vaccine in Philly Phase 1B, starting February 2, people must belong to one of the following groups:
- Over 75 years old;
- With certain high-risk health problems: cancer, chronic kidney disease or recent organ transplants;
- Essential frontline workers such as prison staff, first responders, and service providers who work with vulnerable people.
Farley was awaiting more details after President Joe Biden announced that the federal government would expand vaccine dose shipments to pharmacies. It is not known how many additional doses Philly will receive, but that would add to the city’s current allocation of 20,000 doses of Pfizer and Moderna each week.
These newly announced additional doses would go to Rite Aid and Shop Rite pharmacies. The city will contact eligible people – who have signed up on the vaccine interest form – and direct them to these pharmacies’ appointment slots as they become available.
Vaccination of patients with COVID against Philly
The city is also doing what is necessary after severing ties with a vaccinator whose practices have raised questions. Acting Assistant Health Commissioner Dr Caroline Johnson resigned over the weekend after being revealed to have given information about a proposal to some, but not all, of candidates to administer doses of the vaccine, including Philly Fighting COVID.
The group, led by Drexel graduate student Andrei Doroshin, 22, turned to vaccinations after making PPE and operating testing sites. He administered injections to about 6,700 people at the Pennsylvania Convention Center before the city shut down the arrangement over concerns about patient data and the move to for-profit status.
Starting Wednesday, February 3, the city health department will be holding second dose clinics for patients who have received their first dose of Philly Fighting COVID.
Farley said clinics will be held daily this week until February 6. About 2,500 people will receive their second dose at this clinic this week.
More clinics will be scheduled for next week, and around 4,400 people are expected to be vaccinated.
In a letter last week, Mayor Jim Kenney asked Farley to donate doses that would have gone to Philly Fighting COVID to the Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium. BDCC is receiving 2,000 doses this week and will have 2,500 next week. He moved his clinic Tuesday from a church in west Philadelphia to Temple University’s Liacouras Center due to snow, Kenney said.