Updated at 6:42 p.m. on 2/20
Lines at the 24-hour COVID-19 vaccine site hosted by the Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium at the Liacouras Center remained long as of 5 p.m. Friday, with some residents who had arrived before doors opened to get vaccinated still waiting outside to be admitted.
The site opened today at noon and will operate through tomorrow at noon on a first-come, first serve basis, The Temple News reported.
Those who qualify for Philadelphia’s 1B group in what the Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium defines as high-risk ZIP codes are eligible to be vaccinated at the site along with those older than age 75. Members of the 1B group include teachers, transit workers and first responders.
Members of the state’s 1A group, including hospital staff and workers in long-term care facilities, are also eligible.
As of 5:15 p.m., the Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium has vaccinated 1,250 people at the site, the organization wrote in an email to The Temple News.
Candido Hernandez, 50, who lives on Hicks Street near Wolf, waited in line for five hours and was relieved to get his first dose.
“I’ve been quarantining for a long time so it’s nice to know there might be a conclusion to this,” said Hernandez.
Hernandez’s wife is a schoolteacher, so he’s glad to know he’s protected against COVID-19.
Tom Mosolovich, 63, from West Deptford, New Jersey, works at Reading Terminal Market.
“We’re frontline workers and we’re around a lot of people,” he said. “Once we got inside it went really quickly and the people are great.”
Natalie Stern, a 2020 economics and global studies alumna, is a member of the Party for Socialism and Liberation and has worked to do vaccine outreach with the Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium.
After receiving her vaccine while waiting in line for five hours, Stern was disappointed that the city didn’t centralize vaccination distribution. She acknowledged that the Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium did an amazing job, she said.
Roughly 4,000 people were vaccinated at The Liacouras Center by the end of the event, the organization wrote in an email to The Temple News.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency announced today that it is partnering with the City of Philadelphia, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency to open a vaccine site at the Pennsylvania Convention Center on Mar. 3.
Stern is happy that high-risk ZIP codes were prioritized and that communities of color have access to the vaccine, she said.
“It’s one of a million examples about how black people and people of color are doing all of this work that needs to get done while historically they haven’t gotten recognition,” she said.