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As COVID-19 cases pass 105,000 in Philadelphia, confusion has risen over scheduling vaccination appointments.

Credit: Kylie Cooper

Philadelphia is launching a COVID-19 vaccine sign-up site, prompting confusion among residents due to a city-partner's existing vaccine registry.

The startup Philly Fighting COVID launched a sign-up site in early January ahead of its mass-vaccination clinic at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, WHYY News reported. Although the organization claimed it was "in lockstep" with the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, Health Commissioner Thomas Farley said the city has no oversight of PFC's medical database.

The organization previously said all registration data was being shared with the city, WHYY reported. More than 60,000 people have entered their information at PFC's site.

“It’s not our pre-registration effort, and it is not an official city registry,” Health Department spokesperson James Garrow told WHYY News. “We’re not using it, not reviewing it, not checking it.”

Farley clarified that the city does have a relationship with PFC, but the only data being shared with the city is in regard to people who have already been vaccinated, WHYY reported.

PFC's sign-up site allows people to enter their information in the COVIDReadi portal to be notified when they are eligible to receive the vaccine. The site explains that it does not allow people to register for an appointment or reserve a spot in line.

Philadelphia's official registration site will also allow people to sign up to be notified when they become eligible for the vaccine, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported. It could take weeks or months for people to receive a notification due to the small number of vaccines being shipped to the city.

The city’s health department entered phase 1B of vaccination on Jan. 19. In this phase, people over the age of 75, people with high-risk medical conditions, and people with a high risk of exposure that perform essential duties may be eligible to be vaccinated. 

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