City works to overcome vaccination challenges

by Kate Dolan
Posted 1/29/21

Philadelphia has administered 131,185 total doses of COVID-19 vaccines as of Thursday night.

Of those doses, 98,593 were first doses, and 32,592 were second doses, according to data from the …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

City works to overcome vaccination challenges

Posted

Philadelphia has administered 131,185 total doses of COVID-19 vaccines as of Thursday night.

Of those doses, 98,593 were first doses, and 32,592 were second doses, according to data from the city’s COVID-19 vaccine site.

Philadelphia ranks fourth in the country for total doses administered per 100k residents by a major U.S. city, according to a report in the Philadelphia Inquirer on Friday morning. The report shows that as of Wednesday, the city had received a total of 153,000 doses from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and has administered the fourth-most behind San Diego, New York and San Jose, Cali.

Limited dose availability, storage concerns and misinformation from the federal level early on created challenges in the nation’s vaccine rollout programs and Philadelphia has faced the same. At its Tuesday, Jan. 26 COVID-19 update press conference, Philadelphia’s Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley summed up the city’s status.

“Overall, we are making progress, but we still have to manage the problem of a low number of doses and a very large number of people who are eager to be vaccinated,” he said.

Dr. Caroline Johnson, M.D., Acting Deputy Health Commissioner of Philadelphia, detailed the latest from the city’s vaccine distribution program at the press conference, reiterating the main challenge facing the rollout.

“The number of vaccine doses allocated to Philadelphia remains very limited,” Johnson said. “We receive approximately 20,000 doses per week, and that is the quantity we expect to receive weekly through the end of February.”

The doses received are approximately 50% of each vaccine from Pfizer and Moderna. All of the vaccine received so far have been administered in Philadelphia at hospitals, federally qualified health centers, district health centers and 26 pharmacies across the city.

Of the city’s 47 long term care facilities, 45 have been visited and offered vaccine in partnership with local pharmacies and the remaining two sites are being visited next week, according to Dr. Johnson.

There have been “no serious adverse events or complications” from the vaccine reported to the health department.

The city is currently vaccinating healthcare and essential workers eligible in Phase 1A and 1B and those older than 75. Residents most recently made eligible have included first responders, such as members of police and fire departments.

“Protecting this particular work force is imperative for ensuring both public health and security as well as community well-being,” Johnson said. “It’s another step in the right direction to returning our city to normalcy.”

Johnson also encouraged residents who would like to get the vaccine to complete the vaccine interest form on the city’s website. Although appointments cannot be made using this website, it will ensure those who sign up will be notified when they are eligible and able to receive a vaccine.

“This website allows you to indicate your interest in being vaccinated and identifies what your eligibility criteria is,” Johnson said. “So far we have more than 130,000 people registered through this portal and we’re going to use it as one of our main ways to communicate vaccine availability to select groups.”

On Friday, 422 cases of COVID-19 were announced bringing the total number in the city to 105,715. Additionally, 18 deaths were announced bringing the total number of Philadelphia residents who have succumbed to the virus to 2,866. In Philadelphia hospitals, 447 patients were being treated for the virus as of Friday morning.

For the latest updates on the city’s response to COVID-19 or to complete the vaccine interest form, visit phila.gov/programs/coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19/.

Comments

No comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment