Philadelphia officials say big changes are coming to push COVID-19 vaccine

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Philadelphia Health Department spokesperson James Garrow on Friday laid out the plans for the mass vaccination effort the city is about to undertake.

He says we're about to see the city transform.

Big venues like the Philadelphia Free Library, high schools, places of worship, the sports complex parking lot are all possibilities for mass vaccination sites.

Bur first Garrow wanted to recognize the frustration with how long this is taking.

"We know that you're frustrated. We are too. We want to get this vaccine out. We want to get the city back open and want people to be safe," said Garrow.

But he says we need more vaccine.

So right now, here's where the vaccine numbers stand.

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Jim Garrow from the Philadelphia Department of Health outlines the city's plan to promote vaccination in the city.

"Currently in Philadelphia we're receiving about 20,000 doses of COVID vaccine per week. We've vaccinated 80,000 as of today," said Garrow.

He adds, for neighborhoods without those big venues, they're thinking mobile sites with teams trained to find those at risk, including the homeless.

Plus, potential sites are already there.

"Working with those clinics and scores of offices and pharmacies that are already set up in those neighborhoods," Garrow said.

When it comes to putting needles in arms for the entire city, they have a medical volunteer corps trained and ready.

But to get everyone on board, he acknowledged it won't be easy.

Garrow said the health department has a plan for that.

"Probably what's going to be the biggest ad campaign in the history of city government," said Garrow.

In about a month he says we'll be seeing vaccination ads on billboards, buses, benches, anywhere an ad can go.

He knows this information is critical and that neighbors like West Philadelphia's Diane Kend-Muse want it.

In fact, she summed up pretty well how we're all feeling at this point.

"Right now it's confusing to me. But I hope it gets better because I'm sick of these masks!" said Kend-Muse.

To express your interest in getting a vaccine to city officials, fill out the COVID-19 Vaccine Interest Form for Philadelphia
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