Information as of February 2021.
The vaccine rollout in Philadelphia has gotten off to a slow start yet the same is true of vaccinations in other parts of the state as well as New Jersey and surrounding states. Though Philadelphia received a small increase in the number of vaccines delivered this past week, some of the state’s other counties have received fewer doses than anticipated. Let’s take a look at where Philadelphia’s vaccination effort stands as of today.
The Vaccination Plan
City Council members are determining whether it is prudent to use “The Linc”, short for the Philadelphia Eagles’ Lincoln Financial Field, as a mass vaccination site. Local government officials are also determining whether it makes sense to use the Pennsylvania Convention Center as a mass vaccination site. Discussions between City Council members and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) are underway to determine whether the Convention Center is the best option for mass vaccinations. It is quite possible that FEMA will make its way into Philadelphia’s city limits in the weeks ahead to facilitate the distribution of the coronavirus vaccine.
Some members of Philadelphia’s City Council are attempting to persuade city mayor Jim Kenney to open a massive vaccination clinic within city limits, likely at the forementioned Lincoln Financial Field. This news comes on the heels of the city’s failed partnership with the group dubbed Philly Fighting COVID. This group was a bare-bones startup run by college-age youngsters that had been providing vaccines at the city’s Convention Center up until a few weeks ago.
A Plan Has Not Yet Been Finalized
FEMA and the city of Philadelphia have not yet finalized anything in regard to a mass vaccination site within the city’s limits. In short, city residents are still waiting to hear when a mass vaccination site will open. Sadly, vaccine supplies have been limited as of mid-February. Philadelphia is receiving around 25,000 doses per week. The hope is that the federal government’s promised increase in vaccinations will be available in the months ahead. However, at least one mass vaccination site will be necessary to administer the influx of shots. Fast forward a couple of weeks into the future and there might be one or two such sites administering thousands of shots each day to Philadelphia residents.
The Ball Is in FEMA’s Court
Though there is the potential for the city of Philadelphia to open its own sites, it is much more likely that the sites will be federally supported now that the Biden administration is in power. FEMA has already announced its intentions to open and operate large vaccination clinics in New York, Texas, and California so it makes sense that similar sites will be opened in Philadelphia.
Mayor Kenney has criticized supposed plans to use the Lincoln Financial Center for mass vaccinations as its proximity to interstate highways would make it that much easier for non-Philadelphians to be vaccinated. Stay tuned. There should be more news pertaining to mass vaccination sites in the days and weeks ahead.
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