Philadelphia’s first federal mass vaccination clinic canceled a number of appointments before its official opening at the Pennsylvania Convention Center after several non-eligible individuals signed up to receive the vaccine.
People eligible to be vaccinated on Monday and Tuesday used a private link emailed to them to register for an appointment, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported. Officials intended for the clinic to be open only to essential workers, SEPTA employees, and federal employees. Once the link was leaked, however, the city had no way to restrict who signed up.
Philadelphia residents who submitted the request got immediate responses to schedule a time for their appointment regardless of eligibility, the Inquirer reported. The link had no marker that it was intended only for certain eligible individuals.
To address this issue, the city is working with the registration software called PrepMod to increase security measures, the Inquirer reported. For now, city officials are relying on people who received the secure link to not forward it to non-eligible people.
All the appointments made are being verified and voided if the person who signed up did not directly receive the private link. This action has not stopped people from receiving the vaccine if they were eligible to do so.
Vaccines will be widely available on Wednesday for people who are part of the 1A and 1B phases, which includes medical staff, people over 65, and immunocompromised people.
The federal vaccination site, which opened this week, will eventually provide an expected 6,000 doses per day, doubling the city's current number of daily vaccinations.