PHILADELPHIA - Philadelphia vaccination clinics are now accepting walk-up patients without an appointment for the COVID-19 vaccine, provided people meet the criteria to receive a vaccine.
That’s something the Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium began to allow weeks ago and they say it’s a must.
"I’ve been in the house for months. This is the first time I’ve really been out," Charmaine Davis remarked.
Davis has COPD and her fiancé had a stroke a month ago.
"I’m coming to get this Johnson & Johnson shot. Hopefully, they are going to let us go in and visit him and, hopefully, he come home soon," Davis stated.
After weeks of being unable to get an appointment online at other clinics, she said her best bet was to just show up, even if it meant a wait in line.
The Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium held another walk-up event Monday for those who live in the hardest hit zip codes and are eligible in phases 1A and 1B at the Liacouras Center.
To distribute 1,000 doses of the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
"Convenient. You only have to get one dose. Get it over with," Davis added.
Tuesday, they will distribute first doses of Moderna.
"This was kind of a first come, first serve opportunity, so I figured it was worth standing in line for a few hours, so I could get the vaccine," Tyler Overton explained.
"The beautiful thing, at least for right now, is you do have a choice," Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium Doctor Ala Stanford said.
More choices are also coming to city health department run neighborhood vaccine clinics.
Their fourth opened Monday in the Nicetown-Tioga community at Simon Gratz Mastery Charter High School. And, Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley said they will now take walk-ups for people who can prove eligibility and residency, not just appointments.
"This is removing an additional barrier for people to be vaccinated. Setting up an appointment and making an appointment is not necessarily easy," Dr. Thomas Farley commented.
Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium Founder Dr. Ala Stanford says they, too, started appointment-only but quickly changed that after about two weeks, for good reason.
"If you’re trying to hit a certain population, you have to give them what works for the people, not what works for you and administration, so we switched that immediately. Glad to see other people following, as well," Dr. Stanford explained.
Furthermore, starting Wednesday, March 17, the city is allowing walk-up access to eligible people from 22 under-vaccinated zip codes to the FEMA-supported Center City Vaccination Center. The walk-up access will run for six days, through March 22.
Walk-up vaccinations will be open to those who meet Philadelphia’s Phase 1a and 1b eligibility criteria and can prove that they live in the following zip codes using an ID card, a piece of mail with an address, or a PHL City ID.
Those 22 zip codes include the following:
West and Southwest Philadelphia
Northeast and Lower Northeast Philadelphia
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