Updated on 6/17 at 1:45 p.m.
COVID-19 vaccines are currently being distributed to Philadelphia residents who qualify under the city’s guidelines based on age, occupation and medical history.
There are three COVID-19 vaccines, developed by Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech and Johnson & Johnson, authorized for use in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines require two doses 28 and 21 days apart, respectively, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine requires just one dose.
The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines use mRNA technology to help make antibodies against COVID-19, according to the Philadelphia Department of Public Health.
People are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving their second dose of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines, or two weeks after receiving the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, according to the CDC.
Individuals who are fully vaccinated can resume the activities they did prior to the pandemic without wearing masks indoor and outdoors or social distancing, according to the CDC.
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine acts similarly to the other two vaccines but uses DNA instead of mRNA, WHYY reported. Philadelphia has distributed doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to hard-to-reach populations, including those who are homebound, those with limited mobility and people experiencing homelessness.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommended a pause in the distribution of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine on April 13 after six women developed severe blood clots between 6 and 13 days after being vaccinated, according to the CDC. More than 6.8 million people have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
On April 23, the FDA and CDC lifted the recommended pause on the distribution of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, according to the CDC. The vaccine now has an updated warning label about the rare risk of blood clots.
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Philadelphia expanded to Phase 2 of its vaccine distribution effort on April 16, which included all residents ages 16 and older, The Temple News reported. The city expanded eligibility to include all residents ages 12 and older on May 13.
On May 10, the FDA expanded the emergency use authorization for the Pfizer vaccine to include adolescents between the ages of 12 and 15, according to the FDA. Individuals between 16 and 18 years old can also only receive the Pfizer vaccine, while people 18 and older can receive the Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, according to the CDC.
Residents who qualify can visit the Philadelphia Department of Public Health website to schedule a vaccination appointment at city-run clinics. Individuals can also schedule appointments at a variety of participating pharmacies including CVS Pharmacy, Rite Aid, and Walgreens.
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