COVID-19 vaccines are currently available to residents in Phases 1A and 1B of distribution in Philadelphia.
Phases 1A and 1B include essential workers with a high risk of exposure such as medical staff, first responders, and people who work in congregate settings such as nursing or group homes, WHYY reported. It also includes Philadelphia citizens who are over the age of 75 or have high-risk health conditions.
Anyone living or working in Philadelphia can demonstrate interest in getting the vaccine through a form on the city’s sign-up page or by calling the city’s COVID-19 call center at 215-685-5488, WHYY reported.
People who are 75 and older and have filled out a form should be contacted via email by their pharmacy with a sign-up link. Individuals can also set up healthcare portals if their providers are in Philadelphia.
There are currently over 100 providers in the city eligible to administer the vaccine, including the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Billy Penn reported.
Philadelphia currently has more eligible patients than it does vaccines, WHYY reported, so people who fall into Phases 1A and 1B may experience a delay in getting access to the sign up form after expressing interest in receiving the vaccine.
Phase 1C, the next phase in vaccine distribution, includes essential workers with lower risks of exposure, such as postal workers, sanitation workers, and utility workers. Philadelphia will likely not move to Phase 1C until April, followed by Phase 2 in May. Residents who are 16 or older and have not yet been vaccinated will become eligible in Phase 2.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency is opening a mass vaccination center this week at the Pennsylvania Convention Center to help with vaccine distribution. The clinic has the potential to double the number of COVID-19 vaccines administered in the city each week. The center will be open until mid-April, and will operate for 12 hours each day, seven days a week, Billy Penn reported.
Philadelphia is one of five United States cities to receive the vaccine directly from the federal government. The city is responsible for running its own program separate from the rest of Pennsylvania, Billy Penn reported.