Philadelphia FEMA site accepting walk-ups for COVID vaccine, only if specific criteria is met

Vaccine eligibility is expanding in Philadelphia. By May 1st, all adults will be eligible for a shot, according to Philadelphia Health Commissioner Doctor Thomas Farley.

In addition, the FEMA-run site at the Convention Center will start taking walk-ups, beginning Wednesday, provided certain eligibility criteria are met.

"I came earlier this morning, because I was under the assumption that you could come and register and get a COVID shot," James Hamler commented.

Lines have been wrapping around the Convention Center for days, but Tuesday, folks weren’t all trying to get an extra vaccine. They were trying to register for one, instead of navigating the online process.

"I’d rather stand in this line because it’s so hard. The computer freezes up. They’re slow," Hamler added.

The FEMA site at the Convention Center has a help desk and they will assist people in getting an appointment, but only if the criteria is met.

"If I can get a vaccine, that would be awesome. But, at least an appointment would be great," Alena Randler remarked.

People meeting the criteria for 1A or 1B, and live in specific zip codes can walk-up and get a shot.

"First, this is only for people who meet phase 1A or 1B eligibility criteria from the 22 zip codes. We are going to look for that criteria based on age and medical condition, look for zip codes and, if they are eligible under both, then they may be able to get in and get vaccinated that day. That would be great," explained Dr. Farley.

And, the city says that eligibility will be monitored closely. They do not want people waiting to try and get overflow or extra vaccine, especially if they’re not eligible.

"I can say for the walk-up that we are going to be very careful about finding evidence that people do live in those zip codes and ask about medical eligibility criteria," Dr. Farley added.

To find out if you’re in an eligible zip code, please click here.



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