Philly COVID: 4,000 doses set to expire Thursday at Pa. Convention Center

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Philadelphians in need of a coronavirus vaccine are urged to stop by the Pennsylvania Convention Center this week.

The mass vaccination site has 4,000 extra doses that need to be used by Thursday.

"Come on out and get your vaccine. We're doing dose one of Pfizer and you'll set your second dose appointment here. We encourage all Philadelphians, or if you work in the City of Philadelphia, you're also eligible to get the vaccine," said Charlie Elison with FEMA.

There's no appointment necessary. You are asked to arrive before 4 p.m. if you're walking up to the FEMA-run site, says Elison.

To learn more about setting up an appointment, CLICK HERE.

Across the country and here in southeastern Pennsylvania, many are dealing with vaccine hesitancy.

"I heard a lot of stuff and I'm afraid," said a West Philadelphia woman.

"I don't know. Should I get it or not? I don't wanna take no risks, no chance, but I still wear my mask though," said Anton Hartwick of North Philadelphia.

Kelly Witsen says she's been vaccinated, but has friends who are reluctant.

SEE ALSO: CDC issues new outdoor face mask guidance for fully vaccinated people
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Residents in Philadelphia are reacting to the CDC's new face mask guidance that was announced on Tuesday.

"I think they are hesitant to get vaccinated because they're unsure if there's gonna be side effects or long-term side effects," said Witsen of Milford, Delaware.

The experts worry that vaccine hesitancy will derail attempts to end the pandemic.

"If we don't get this now, we're gonna have variant strains really breaking out. You see India and Brazil. If we get double variant strains, it's gonna be very, very difficult for us to maintain the advances that we've made in fighting COVID," said Rosemarie Halt, director of COVID-19 vaccine operations in Delaware County.

Dr. Christine Meyer, who started the PA COVID Vaccine Match Maker Facebook page, is disheartened by people's reluctance to get the shots.

"We really need to take it to a grassroots effort. We have to identify the barriers. What is it that's keeping people from saying, 'yes' to this vaccine, and then systematically break them down?" said Dr. Meyer.

"I think our key right now is to work with community partners and leaders and to really work from the grassroots," added Halt.

The CDC says while 55% of people 65 or over in Philadelphia are fully vaccinated, only 34% of people over the age of 18 are fully vaccinated. In under-vaccinated communities, the city and FEMA have started street teams at grocery stores and other places encouraging people to get vaccinated.
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