Philadelphia's first mass vaccination clinic opens to health care workers

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Thousands of health care workers who are not affiliated with hospitals are receiving invitations to be vaccinated at Philadelphia's first mass COVID-19 vaccination clinic at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

The focus is to eventually administer the vaccine to roughly 15,000 home health care workers at the site and the model other locations after the site.

"The vaccine is what is going to bring this pandemic to an end. That doesn't mean we can stop masking and social distancing right away," said Dr. Caroline Johnson, the city's deputy health commissioner.

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Johnson said they're working to get the vaccine out to the community as fast as possible.

"The big limitations right now are that vaccine supplies are limited. We get a very small number of doses every week," said Johnson.

The effort to begin vaccinating home health care workers is in partnership with a group called Philly Fighting COVID. They've been testing people around the city.

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"Now that the vaccine is here, we've built a way so that everyone who wants to get it, to get it so we can all finally win the fight against COVID," said Dr. Karol Osipowicz, of Philly Fighting COVID.

Other essential workers are next in line to receive the vaccine after health care professionals, but will all take time and supplies.

"The ultimate goal to vaccinate everybody in the city, which is our goal, it's not going to happen until our supplies are really adequate and that has not occurred yet," Johnson said.
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