FEMA convention center COVID-19 vaccination site extended one month

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- FEMA's tenure at the Pennsylvania Convention Center vaccination site in Center City Philadelphia has been extended by one month.

Rather than closing the doors at the end of April, the site will remain open until May 26. This adjustment came following the CDC announcement pausing the rollout of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

The Pfizer shot, which requires two doses, will now be offered, and the extra time will ensure patients get both doses at the same location.

"I didn't really know what to expect. I think I'd rather get Pfizer. There is more good news out there about Pfizer," said Dan Kennelly of South Philadelphia.

Other patients say the reports of six cases of blood clots in women, which lead to the CDC hitting the brakes on J&J, weren't much of a concern after nearly 7 million Americans were successfully vaccinated with Johnson & Johnson.

"In terms of the clots that they were getting, the ratio, I really didn't care. People are dying at bigger numbers rather than getting the clots. As long as I get the vaccine," said Center City resident Lorely Solano.

"Initially, I was shooting for J&J. I just wanted it to be one and done," said Rick Hoffmann or Huntington Valley.

RELATED: What does it mean if you've had the Johnson & Johnson vaccine?

Hoffman got a call yesterday saying that his first choice of vaccine would no longer be distributed.

"Today I got Pfizer," said Hoffmann.

That switch is also happening at the Camden County vaccination clinic. On Wednesday, 1,500 people were set to receive the now-paused vaccine.

"We had about 2,000 doses on the back burner, and we had folks scheduled to receive those doses we're hoping they still show up for their appointment," says Camden County Commissioner Lou Cappelli.

Six hundred people got Moderna shots, with the remainder rescheduling.

"We still are facing the challenge of increased cases. It's a race between the variant strains and the vaccine and we want the vaccine to win," said Cappelli.

FEMA says it will continue vaccinating 6,000 people per day with the Pfizer vaccine.
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