On Monday, April 5, the priority groups in Phase 1C, which includes sanitation workers, maintenance, janitorial staff, utility workers and postal and package delivery workers, will be eligible to receive the vaccine.
On Monday, April 5, the priority groups in Phase 1C, which includes sanitation workers, maintenance, janitorial staff, utility workers and postal and package delivery workers, are eligible to receive the vaccine. Later in the month, other groups in Phase 1C will be prioritized and include those in higher education, public-facing finance roles, transportation (including airport and train workers, and taxi and rideshare workers), construction, telecommunications and IT, the press, the legal industry, and public health workers.
As eligibility expands this month, Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley urged that everyone over 65, a group made eligible in Phase 1B earlier in March, get the vaccine as soon as possible, saying that this age group is the most vulnerable in another rise of infections.
“We need to get as many people who are over the age of 65 as possible vaccinated now to prevent deaths,” said Dr. Farley at Tuesday’s COVID-19 update press conference. Hospitalizations have doubled in the past month, with a total of 447 patients in Philadelphia hospitals as of Thursday morning, up from the low 200 range in early March.
Cases per day have “approximately doubled in the past month.” The city is now averaging 488 cases per day, with a 6.8% positivity rate for those who are tested. Dr. Farley called this latest rise a “new wave,” reporting that increases are occurring in both New Jersey and New York.
“This virus has, and will continue to surprise us,” he said on Tuesday.
On the vaccination front, the city continues to increase its weekly number of vaccine doses administered. For the week ending on March 28, all providers in the city delivered 111,000 doses of vaccine. In February, the weekly total was 50,000. The goal is to increase that number to 150,000 weekly doses by the end of April, according to Dr. Farley, but he added that the health department doesn’t have advance notice of how much vaccine it will receive each week.
There are now 226 sites in the city which are enrolled as vaccine providers, up from 204 a week ago. The sites include 42 independent pharmacies and nine neighborhood-based clinics operated by the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, the Philadelphia Fire Department or the Office of Emergency Management, aiming to vaccinate those in some of the less-vaccinated parts of the city.
The 9th and most recent opened in East Mount Airy at the Mount Airy Church of Christ at 7800 Ogontz Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19150. To learn more about the city’s clinics and for information on schedules and how to sign up, visit here: https://www.phila.gov/2021-03-16-everything-you-need-to-know-about-the-citys-vaccine-clinics/
The Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium is also holding vaccine clinics in Mount Airy, at Deliverance Evangelistic Church at 2001 West Lehigh Avenue, Monday, April 5 - Saturday, April 10 from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Residents from the hardest-hit zip codes (which includes 19119), and who are eligible as per city guidelines, are invited to the first-come-first-served clinic. It will administer the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. For more information, visit the BDCC website blackdoctorsconsortium.com.
According to the city’s website, as of Friday, April 2, there have been 278,800 Philadelphia residents fully vaccinated and 254,299 partially vaccinated. Also as of Friday, there have been 130,974 confirmed cases of the virus since the pandemic began and 3,282 deaths among Philadelphia residents.