Philly successfully administers 900 Pfizer doses that nearly expired; Levine visits vaccination sites

PHILADELPHIA -- Former Pennsylvania health secretary Dr. Rachel Levine returned to the state Thursday in her new role as Assistant Health Secretary in the Biden administration.

Dr. Levine visited the FEMA-run clinic at the Pennsylvania Convention Center as the city worked to use up 900 doses of the COVID-19 vaccination that were set to expire Thursday afternoon.

According to officials, every dose was administered successfully and zero doses went to waste. The site is now administering doses that are not in danger of expiring as walk-ups and appointments will continue through 5 p.m.

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In both Camden County, New Jersey and outside the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Center City Philadelphia, the rush is on to get people vaccinated.

"More than half of the United States adults have gotten one shot. Two-thirds of seniors are fully vaccinated," said Levine.

So, how does our area compare?

The Action News Data Journalism team found in Philadelphia, an estimated 44.2% of all residents 16-and-older are fully vaccinated.

Statewide, an estimated 31.5% of all Pennsylvania residents of the same age are fully vaccinated.

FEMA sites at Esperanza in Hunting Park and the convention center a major part of the vaccination effort in the city.

"FEMA has supported Philadelphia with more than 290,000 vaccinations to date. This accounts for more than than 25% of all vaccinations in Philadelphia," said Janice Barlow, Acting FEMA Region 3 Administrator.

Levine also stopped by the clinic at the Liacouras Center in North Philadelphia run by the Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium.

On Wednesday night, founder Dr. Ala Stanford, who's been leading the charge since the beginning of the pandemic, was chosen as Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon's virtual guest at Biden's first address to a joint session of Congress.

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Family, friends, staff and even Philadelphia's own legendary Patti LaBelle took time to say thank you to Dr. Stanford.