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Public vaccination center in Philadelphia to start accepting walk-ups

For residents of priority zip codes, an appointment is no longer a barrier to getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

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Until recently, the main way to get the COVID-19 vaccine in Philadelphia was to fill out the city’s vaccine interest form on the Department of Public Health’s website and wait patiently until an email arrived in your inbox telling you where to go to get the shot.

Over time, it became clear that not everyone had access to the sign-up system, be it for lack of reliable internet or hesitancy putting personal information into an online database. 

Now, there is another option for residents of 22 priority zip codes throughout the city — simply walking up for a vaccination.

While this had become an unofficial policy leading to a chaotic “tale of two lines” at the Philadelphia Convention Center, the formalization of this rule allows for proper public communication on the matter.

According to a Billy Penn report, this change is “part of an effort by city officials to close the racial and economic divide in the city’s vaccine distribution.”

Residents still need to fall under the 1A or 1B phases of vaccine eligibility, which include first responders, food distribution workers, individuals seventy-five years of age or older and those with high-risk medical conditions.

Below are the zip codes where eligible residents can get a vaccination without an appointment.

West, Southwest, and South Philadelphia

  • 19104
  • 19131
  • 19139
  • 19142
  • 19143
  • 19151
  • 19153

North Philadelphia

  • 19122
  • 19132
  • 19133
  • 19134
  • 19140

Upper North and Lower Northeast Philadelphia

  • 19116
  • 19120
  • 19124
  • 19135
  • 19136
  • 19138
  • 19141
  • 19144
  • 19149
  • 19152

Community vaccination sites, which initially planned on operating on an appointment-only basis as well, will also accept walk-ups from residents of these zip codes where vaccination rates remain low.

This announcement is a positive step toward ensuring that the communities most devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic will finally be able to breathe easy and move-on from a historically difficult year. 

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