Philadelphia scales up vaccination efforts with new community vaccination sites
The new sites will open over the next two weeks on March 15 and March 22.
Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney and Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley recently announced the opening of five new community vaccination sites in the city.
Three are set to open on Monday, March 15.
- Mastery Charter Simon Gratz High School in Nicetown-Tioga by the Erie Station of the Broad Street Line (1798 W. Hunting Park Avenue)
- Edward O’Malley (EOM) Athletic Association by Snyder Plaza (144 Moore Street)
- Grand Yesha Ballroom in East Passyunk (2308 Snyder Avenue)
An additional two open the following week on March 22.
- Cannstatter Volksfest-Verein German American Club in Torresdale (9130 Academy Road)
- A city facility in Stenton (7800 Ogontz Avenue)
These mass vaccination sites will be in addition to the five currently operating throughout the city, and the hospitals and pharmacies that are conducting more targeted vaccination efforts.
The launch of these new sites has the potential to limit the long lines and uncertainty that have been reported by AL DÍA News at the FEMA-run Philadelphia Convention Center site and Billy Penn at the ‘vaxathon’ pop-up site at the Liacouras Center led by the Black Doctors COVID Consortium.
Equity has also remained a consistent concern, with Latinx and Black Philadelphians receiving less vaccine in the early months in proportion to their share of the overall population.
These numbers have improved substantially in recent weeks with about 5.5% of the vaccine distribution being among Latinx people in the city, as compared to less than 4% at the end of February.
“These new sites are one more aspect of our concerted effort to get the vaccine in neighborhoods and communities with the greatest need,” Kenney said in the announcement. “We are confident that in doing so, we can improve the equity of our vaccine distribution efforts and get Philadelphia one step closer to defeating this virus.”
When the first vaccine types were approved for public use by the Food and Drug Administration, the challenge shifted to producing an adequate supply and distributing it throughout the country.
President Joe Biden pledged in a CNN town hall in February that enough would be available to “vaccinate every single American” by the end of July.
With these new sites, the city of Philadelphia is making an active effort to ensure that this supply is available to every person within its limits.
“Eight neighborhood locations, with today’s announcements, is significant, since not everyone can come downtown to the FEMA site or other sites,” Council President Darrell L. Clarke said in a press release of the official announcement. “The more we can bring the vaccine to people in neighborhoods where they live, the more people we can get vaccinated.”