Philadelphia healthcare workers receive Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine on Wednesday

Wednesday will mark a monumental day in Philadelphia's fight against the coronavirus pandemic as a select number of healthcare workers will roll up their sleeves to receive the first shot of the two-dose Pfizer-Biontch vaccine.

More than 13,500 doses were divided among Philadelphia-area hospitals with the appropriate freezing-cold storage, according to city health officials. Philadelphia expects thousands more doses in the coming days in order to continue the first wave of vaccinations. 

Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia administered its first vaccination around 7:30 a.m. and planned to use it's 3,000 dose allotment to vaccinate employees through the afternoon, according to hospital officials.

Nurse Jennifer Gil said she felt "great" after receiving the Pfizer-Biontech vaccine, and was "excited" and "honored" to be the first Jefferson Hospital staff member to receive the vaccine.

"It means a lot, I think it's a sign of hope," Gil said. "We still need to do the guidelines - wear a mask, social distance - our work continues, but I think it's a sign things are going to get better and we all just need to do our part."

The University of Pennsylvania Hospital and Nazareth Hospital also shared photos of frontline workers receiving the first dose of the vaccine. UPenn says emergency department nurse Eric Young was the first to get the vaccine after he completed a night shift.

The battle against the pandemic could be further aided by the Moderna coronavirus vaccine, which some anticipate could be approved this week. Should the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) sign off on the second vaccine in two weeks, the city's cache of shots could grow significantly.

“Hospitals are making arrangements to implement these vaccinations, not only to their own frontline staff but to other high-priority recipients," Pennsylvania Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine said. "The number of people we can immunize truly depends on how quickly the manufacturers can make the vaccine.”

New Jersey and Delaware administered their first doses of the life-saving vaccine on Tuesday which kicked off a nationwide effort to protect millions from a virus that has claimed 304,000 lives and infected over 16 million.

Distribution guidelines offered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest frontline healthcare workers and hospital staff receive the initial doses of the vaccine. Nursing home residents and staff are among the top priority as the state's cache of shots grows. 


Philadelphia hospitals receive first doses of Pfizer vaccine Monday

Healthcare workers across NJ and Delaware are vaccinated as Philly looks to start vaccinations

7 more hospitals, including Doylestown, are recipients of COVID vaccine, state officials say


For the latest local news, sports and weather, download the FOX 29 News app.


Sign up for emails from FOX 29, including our daily Good Day Digest