Civic News
COVID-19 / Municipal government

City gov now has an official portal for Philadelphians who want the COVID-19 vaccine

It could still be months from now, but filling out the form ensures you'll be alerted when it's your turn.

Philadelphia City Hall. (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)
Update: WHYY reported on Jan. 25 that the City of Philadelphia had broken ties with Philly Fighting COVID after learning it had launched a for-profit arm. Read the full story. (1/26/21, 10 a.m.)

It’s been just over a month since the U.S. began vaccinating the first phase of residents with the two approved COVID-19 vaccines, and Pennsylvania and the City of Philadelphia are working out separate systems to attempt to get everyone inoculated.

Earlier this month, the Department of Health tapped nonprofit Philly Fighting Covid to help vaccinate healthcare workers in mass vaccination clinics at the convention center. The nonprofit has an online portal where any resident can sign up and “pre-commit” to a vaccine.

The partnership and resulting clinic “is a reminder of what can be done when we come together to solve challenges and a promise of more good things to come for the City of Philadelphia,” Deputy Health Commissioner Dr. Caroline Johnson said in a statement earlier this month.

While the city opened up vaccine eligibility to those in group 1-B this week — people over 75 and those with some chronic medical conditions — there’s still plenty of confusion about how someone in that group can go about actually receiving their shots.

More than 60,000 people entered their information in PFC’s site, the group told WHYY this week. Leaders also said all registration data was being shared with the health department. But Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley said this week that the City doesn’t actually have oversight of the preliminary medical database supplied by PFC’s early registrants, WHYY reported.

And now, the city is launching its own vaccine interest form to better understand which residents want access to the vaccine when it’s their turn and the doses become available. The form asks the resident’s age, living conditions, job and preexisting conditions.

“Those who complete the interest form will be contacted later by the Department of Public Health or one of the City’s many vaccine partners when they can schedule an appointment,” the department said Thursday.

It might be weeks or months before residents can schedule appointments for their vaccines, the department said, but signing up ensures that they’ll be told when it becomes available to them. You can check out the City’s vaccination dashboard for a breakdown of race and gender of those who have already received a vaccine.

The Department of Health said Thursday it is, indeed, still working with Philly Fighting Covid, as well as the Black Doctor’s COVID-19 Consortium and Acme, to ensure that the information those groups have collected will be added to the City’s database.

“Having a vaccine against COVID is a major step forward, but we understand that many Philadelphians are frustrated by not knowing how to get vaccinated,” Farley said. “While we cannot make more doses of vaccine appear, with this sign-up, we can at least assure interested Philadelphians that they will be contacted when their opportunity to get vaccinated comes up.”

Companies: City of Philadelphia
Series: Coronavirus

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