One year after first Philadelphia COVID-19 case, second doses administered at historic church

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- One year ago, Philadelphia Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley stood at a podium in City Hall and addressed the St Patrick's Day parade, which would eventually be canceled.

"We are recommending that people not attend as spectators," Farley said.

One year later, there's hope by way of vaccination clinics, like one at the African Episcopal Church of St Thomas in Overbrook, where Main Line Health partnered with the historic church.

"Access is a big problem for low-income and underserved communities in general," said Phyllis Cater, the health ministry's co-chair.

A month ago, Father Martini Shaw was vaccinated at Lankenau to demonstrate his faith in the vaccine's safety and encourage others to receive it.

Throughout it all, this church has remained committed to outreach.

"The church has been a real source of comfort for people, and that's kind of what it's been for me too," said Dr. Gregory Allen, the church's director of communications.

PJ Grier is a member of the church who has now received his second dose.

"It seems like a year that disappeared in many ways," Grier said.

But with the second dose, suddenly the outlook is brighter.

"My outlook is now actually I'm thinking a vacation. So as soon as I go home I'm going to call American Airlines and see what the deals are," Grier said.
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