FEMA partners with Philadelphia to open mass vaccination site at Pennsylvania Convention Center

Philadelphia's arduous effort to inoculate the largest city in Pennsylvania will soon get an added boost from the federal government.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced on Friday it has partnered with Philadelphia to support a mass vaccination site at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. FEMA, along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of Health and Human Services, will provide staffing and logistics support. 

The FEMA site promises to markedly increase the number of available doses by adding its own allotment to what is already given to Philadelphia Health Department. At maximum operating capacity, officials believe the site can administer several thousand doses per day.

Credit: Penn Medicine

Details on when the Community Vaccination Clinic will open are forthcoming. A White House release said it expects the site to be operational within the next two weeks. 

MORE: FEMA opens new mass COVID-19 vaccination sites amid wintry weather across US

"Every city in the country, including Philadelphia, is currently struggling with not having enough COVID vaccine to meet the demand of their residents, so this center will make a huge difference," Mayor Jim Kenney said. "It’s a key step to recovery and getting our city that much closer back to normal."

The federal government selected Philadelphia based on data analysis including the CDC’s Social Vulnerability Index and other Census data, as well as input from our state and local partners.

"Our three goals for distributing vaccine have always been: do it fast, do it so it saves the most lives, and do it equitably," Philadelphia Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley said.

The Pennsylvania Convention Center hosted the Philly Fighting COVID clinic which was disbanded after suspected scandalous behavior by its founder Andrei Doroshin. The site sat vacant in the wake of the alleged misconduct before Philadelphia took over the mass vaccination clinic.

Dr. Farley reported on Friday that the city has administered 161,000 first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine and fully inoculated nearly 80,000 residents. Meanwhile, Philadelphia's latest total of new infections reported on Thursday topped 300 people.



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