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A shipment of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine arrives at Pennsylvania Hospital. 

Credit: Courtesy of Penn Medicine

Penn Medicine has administered over 62,000 doses of vaccine within the first five weeks of offering patient vaccinations.

Penn Medicine began the transition from vaccinating staff to vaccinating patients by identifying eligible patients via electronic medical records and sending them an email with a link to schedule an appointment, Penn Medicine News reported. After only about 30% of eligible patients created appointments, Penn Medicine pivoted by adding new outreach methods, including calling people directly and launching a text-based platform.

There are several vaccine clinics running within hospital facilities and at off-campus sites such as the Theatre of Living Arts on South Street, Penn Medicine News reported.

Penn Medicine has also taken steps to reach communities of color that have been devastated by the pandemic, focusing on direct outreach and setting up community-based clinics in churches, recreation centers, and schools.

Individuals were able to sign up for these vaccines via text or an automated phone system, eliminating the need for a link, app, or computer, Penn Medicine News reported.

Community members were also invited to engage with Black physicians virtually, allowing the public to hear about physicians' own experiences with the vaccine  and to ask questions to overcome vaccine hesitancy, Penn Medicine News reported.

Penn Medicine has also made an effort to reach out to suburban communities that have received smaller supplies of vaccine than Philadelphia. It has partnered with nearby Delaware and Montgomery Counties to vaccinate Penn Medicine patients and residents.