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Older adults, restaurant employees, and high-risk individuals were among thousands to receive their first dose of COVID-19 vaccines at Philadelphia’s mass vaccination center. 

Credit: Courtesy of Penn Medicine

Thousands of Philadelphians received their first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine at the opening of Philadelphia’s new mass vaccination clinic on Wednesday.

The new site is located at the Convention Center in Center City, and is operated through a partnership between the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, and the city, PhillyVoice reported. Older adults, restaurant employees, and high-risk individuals were among the first group of individuals to receive the vaccine.

People who received the shot on Wednesday waited in lines and spent approximately 25 minutes inside, 6abc reported.

The Convention Center is currently providing vaccinations for the groups outlined in Phases 1A and 1B of Philadelphia’s vaccine distribution plan. Those eligible include health care workers, essential workers,  Pennsylvanians over the age of 65, teachers, postal service workers, and agricultural workers.

The Convention Center site is scheduled to be open from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. every day of the week for at least the next eight weeks. 

With approximately 6,000 vaccinations per day and 47,000 per week, the Convention Center site alone will double Philadelphia’s overall weekly vaccination count, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

The official opening came just days after the new vaccination site faced issues with non-eligible citizens signing up for vaccinations on PrepMod, the online registration software that allows citizens to schedule appointments. 

Matthew Rankin, a spokesperson for the Philadelphia Health Department, said that the department remains unable to restrict the link but the issue should be resolved soon, according to the Inquirer.