Places of worship, other faith-based organizations get long awaited vaccine doses to distribute

Come this Saturday the Grace Center Church in Southwest Philadelphia will transform its massive parking lot into a drive-up vaccine clinic.

Lead Pastor Eric Simmons put out a social media blast for registration. 

"I think the influence in terms of the church with the vaccination process is people look at us as being on the forefront of it," he said.

The church has provided COVID testing over the past year but this is a first that they will distribute the vaccine. 

"They've received their appointment time, they'll get in the car line, drive up, get their shot and have observation station somewhere else," said Pastor Simmons.

He anticipates holding more clinics and with greater demand through the church once the vaccination phase opens to everyone. 

"My position has been if you feel in your heart to do it then you do it. It's not a thing where there's a forcing. Some people have to have baby steps," he said.  

In Elkins Park this Friday one of the biggest synagogues there will host its largest vaccine clinic yet. 

"Access has been really challenging as it has been for everyone and people say it's like the hunger games. It's such a wild west of craziness," said Kim Decker.

She’s the director of the Kehillah of Old York Road and represents the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia in the northern suburbs and says they previously had volunteers scouring sites to help people navigate getting appointments. 

But now, they have the vaccines to do it and on a larger scale than the smaller vaccine clinics they've previously held. 

"When we had this opportunity to have a clinic and vaccinate a thousand people here that is a gift," said Decker. She says this is what dozens of different Jewish organizations and about eight synagogues in her area do together in a time like this and for everyone they can. 

"It's important to note that we are vaccinating people regardless of race, religion, affiliation and we don’t ask any questions," said Decker. 

Appointments for both clinics this weekend have been filled but for more information on future clinics visit the following:



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