More COVID-19 vaccination sites open up across Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The organization Save Philly Restaurants teamed up with Centennial Pharmacy Services to vaccinate the hundreds of restaurant staffers in Philadelphia.

Monday was the third day of the appointment-only clinic where you must work in the restaurant industry. Currently, Philadelphia is in the 1B Phase and restaurant employees fall under that category.

Adan Trinidad owns several Philadelphia restaurants including Jose Pistolas, and says that 60 percent of his nearly 100-person staff are vaccinated thanks, in part, to Save Philly Restaurants.

"I think it's really amazing. It's finally our turn. We've been working since the beginning and I'm very grateful," said Trinidad, who stood in line himself on Monday.

Lindsay Dymowski-Constantino is the owner and president of Centennial Pharmacy. Her company is contracted with several businesses and apartment buildings including some HUD housing. She said Monday is the third day for the restaurant clinic workers.

"We had a little over 900 people register. I know Centennial to date has vaccinated over 1,300 restaurant workers," said Dymowski-Constantino.

Leyna Bradley is a Temple University student who also works in the restaurant industry, and said she is touched at the effort to include workers in the industry.

"I think it's very nice considering we are not frontline workers at all, trust me on that. But it's nice to know they care about us, almost as much as frontline healthcare workers, because we are putting ourselves out there every week to service people," Bradley said.

More vaccination clinics continue to open across Philadelphia. The Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium administered the Johnson & Johnson vaccine on Monday at Temple University's Liacouras Center.

The clinic will offer the Moderna vaccine on Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for anyone who is Phase 1A or 1B eligible and also lives in 24 zip codes with high COVID positivity rates.

"It's all walk-up. We are no longer doing any pre-registration, no online because we found that it wasn't equitable. Everybody doesn't have access to that," said Dr. Ala Stanford, founder of Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium.

No appointments are necessary for first doses at the Liacouras Center.

"Personally, between Johnson & Johnson and Moderna, the vaccine efficacy that is reported is what we need in the middle of this pandemic. However, we recognize that people have personal preferences and we wanted to give you enough time to make an informed decision for yourself," Stanford said.

Black Doctors Covid-19 Consortium is reporting that they have vaccinated more than 25,000 people in just 31 days. The majority have been people of color who live in what the health department has designated as the hardest hit zip codes of the city.

The Philadelphia Public Health Department will be opening three additional mass vaccination sites this week. Neighborhood clinics run by the city, excluding the FEMA site at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, are now accepting walk-ins who meet criteria.

The clinic at Simon Gratz High School in Tioga-Nicetown opened Monday. The Grand Yesha Ballroom in South Philadelphia will open Wednesday, according to city officials, and the clinic at the Edward O'Malley Athletic Association in South Philadelphia will open on Friday.

"We're going to try to manage this. It's important because we know that scheduling an appointment is a barrier for people, so we have to gradually switch to walk-ins," said Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley.

Three additional neighborhood clinics are also open:

- Community Academy Charter School, 1100 E. Erie Avenue
- MLK Older Adult Center, 2101 Cecil B. Moore Avenue
- University of the Sciences, Bobby Morgan Arena, 835 S. 43rd Street
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