With so much information out there, it is very easy to be confused on what to do and where to get your vaccine. In Philadelphia, individuals in Phase 1a and Phase 1b are now eligible to receive the vaccination to protect against COVID-19. However, the number of people eligible in these groups far exceeds the number of vaccines that become available each week.
During Phase 1b, individuals who are age 75+ or who have high risk medical conditions will be able to receive the vaccine at hospitals, participating retail pharmacies, Federally Qualified Health Centers, and mass vaccination events operated by the Health Department or community partners. The detailed COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Plan from the Philadelphia Department of Public Health is available here.
Individuals are advised to register for the vaccine and then wait to be contacted about what day and time to show up for your shot. Currently, this is a two-shot process so you will need to plan for receiving two shots within a month’s time.
The Philadelphia Department of Public Health has created a COVID-19 Vaccine Interest Form. The purpose of this form is to gather information from individual Philadelphia residents about their interest in receiving COVID-19 vaccination within Philadelphia County. Individuals are asked questions on the form that help determine when they will be able to get the COVID-19 vaccine. The information will be used to connect individuals with where they can register to receive a COVID-19 vaccine in the near future.
The Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium will be administering the COVID-19 Vaccine in the community for Phase 1b. Vaccines are administered by appointment only. The Consortium has a Vaccine Request Form for Philadelphia residents to sign up to request a vaccine.
Individuals outside of Philadelphia should sign up with their county health department:
Many primary care physicians have access to vaccines and are starting to call patients to come in for vaccination.The Mazzoni Center is vaccinating patients of their health center who are in Phase 1a or 1b. Vaccines are by appointment only and must be scheduled through their patient portal. Philadelphia FIGHT will also be vaccinating patients who are now eligible.
Vaccines will soon be available at ShopRite and Walgreens exclusively for people over 75. You will need to register through the city link above to get on the list for this. There will NOT be a separate registration open for the pharmacies at ShopRite and Walgreens.
Many pharmacies are providing information on their vaccine plans, though appointments are most often not yet available (ACME, CVS, Rite Aid, Walgreens). Some pharmacies provide an option to sign up to get alerts for when vaccinations will become available.
There had been another organization, Philly Fighting COVID, that had been promoting mass vaccination events. That organization is no longer receiving vaccines from the city (more coverage here). If you had signed up with their organization to request a vaccine, you should sign up for the Department of Public Health’s interest form instead.
There are still many questions about when and where eligible individuals will be able to receive their vaccine. Until there is a sufficient amount of vaccine available for all who are eligible, there will continue to be a wait for vaccinations. The Philadelphia Department of Public Health provides a Frequently Asked Questions page for individuals seeking further information. There is also a recording of a recent webinar outlining the city’s testing and vaccine strategies.