Temple vaccine clinic wraps up its fifth week

Temple students and city residents received second doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine yesterday at the university’s White Hall vaccine clinic.

A person walks into James S. White Hall to receive the COVID-19 vaccine on March 31. | ALLIE IPPOLITO / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Carolyn Taylor, an administrative assistant at Philadelphia Gas Works, received her second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine because she felt it was a necessary step to protect herself. 

“I have some underlying health conditions, and even if I didn’t, I don’t want to get sick and I don’t want to die,” Taylor said. 

Taylor was one of dozens of city residents who received a second vaccine dose at Temple University’s White Hall vaccine clinic today, wrapping up the clinic’s fifth week of operations. 

Temple University opened its six-week vaccine clinic at White Hall for students, faculty and staff on March 31 and Philadelphia residents on April 1, The Temple News reported. The clinic administered first doses of the two-dose Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine during its first three weeks of operation and is currently administering second doses until it closes at the end of next week. 

Most people receiving their second dose at the White Hall clinic also received their first dose at the site, The Temple News reported. Temple is only administering second doses to a small number of people who did not get their first dose at the White Hall clinic, The Temple News reported.

Those yet to receive their first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine should visit other vaccine clinics since the university is only administering second doses at this time, The Temple News reported. 

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine uses mRNA technology and requires two doses administered at least 21 days apart, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The university receives 1,100 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine each week from the city, with about half intended for students, faculty and staff, and the other half intended for city residents, The Temple News reported.

Students, faculty and staff who received their first doses through the White Hall clinic registered through the university’s vaccine interest form, while residents signed up using the city’s vaccine interest form and were contacted by Temple, The Temple News reported. First dose recipients signed up for a second dose before leaving the clinic.

Philadelphia expanded vaccine eligibility to all city residents age 16 and older on April 16, The Temple News reported

City residents can now sign up directly on the Philadelphia Department of Public Health’s website for a vaccine appointment. The Pennsylvania Convention Center and Esperanza Academy Charter School mass vaccine clinics take walk-ins and appointments, according to the Philadelphia Department of Public Health.

More than 755,000 Philadelphians have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and more than 504,000 have been fully vaccinated as of April 29, The Temple News reported.

People are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine or two weeks after receiving the single-dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, according to the CDC.

Now that Taylor is vaccinated, she is looking forward to having a Memorial Day barbeque with her family, she said. 

“Most of my family, they got the Johnson & Johnson, so now we can celebrate together,” Taylor said.

Unlike the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine requires only a single dose. On April 13, the Food and Drug Administration recommended a pause in the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to examine a rare blood clotting disorder that six women between the ages of 18 and 48 developed after getting vaccinated, the New York Times reported. 

On April 23, the CDC and FDA lifted the recommended pause on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, according to the CDC. The vaccine now includes a warning label about the rare risk of blood clots.

Sean Beaty, a Philadelphia Gas Works employee, got vaccinated because he wants his life to return to normal. 

“I want to go to concerts,” he said. “I want to see my family.”

Beaty also has plans to go camping near Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania with friends, he said. 

The CDC updated guidelines on Tuesday allowing fully vaccinated people to gather indoors with other fully vaccinated people and gather outdoors without a mask as long as they avoid large crowds and do not need to quarantine after traveling within the country, according to the CDC.

Joseph Barbella, a junior environmental science major, got vaccinated because he felt it was the smart thing to do since it will protect him from getting COVID-19. 

“As a member of society, especially in a big city where you’re interacting with a lot of different people on a daily basis, like the masks are a preventive measure but why wouldn’t you not want to take it another step further to prevent yourself from getting sick when the masks are technically only there to prevent other people from getting sick,” he said. 

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