Vaccines still a work in progress

Photo courtesy of Philadelphia Department of Public Health

The city continues to encourage people looking to receive the COVID-19 vaccine to register at https://covid-vaccine-interest.phila.gov/.

The form is not for registering for an appointment, but will tell the city Department of Public Health how to contact you when you are eligible and the vaccine is available.

Individuals who do not have access to the internet can dial 3-1-1 for help completing the interest form.

For employers, the website is https://form.jotform.com/philagov/workforce-covid-vaccine-planning. Employers that complete this form will be contacted to help set up opportunities to vaccinate their prioritized staff when they are eligible and the vaccine is available.

Right now, Philadelphia is prioritizing people in Phase 1A or 1B, which includes:

• Health care workers and home health aides
• Residents and staff in long-term care facilities
• Certain high-risk essential workers, such as public safety, transit and teachers
• People with certain medical conditions, such as cancer, diabetes and organ transplantees
• Anyone over the age of 75

Dr. Tom Farley, commissioner of the city Department of Public Health

The health department has announced the opening of three clinics in so-called “traditionally underserved” areas. They are at Community Academy of Philadelphia Charter School, 1101 E. Erie Ave. in Juniata; Martin Luther King Older Adult Center, 2101 W. Cecil B. Moore Ave.; and University of the Sciences, 600 S. 43rd St.

Meanwhile, FEMA is soon expected to open a site at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

Some pharmacies, hospitals and doctors’ offices are offering the vaccine, but members of the public must be invited or referred, based on the current phase.

Individuals can find out more information by calling 800-722-7112, visiting phila.gov/covid-19 or texting COVIDPHL to 888-777 to get updates sent to their phones.

A coronavirus testing site finder can be found at phila.gov/testing. Tests are free.

In related news, city Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley on Friday announced changes to restrictions. Changes include a doubling of capacity limits for retail stores, religious institutions, indoor theaters, performance venues and outdoor catered events; the reopening of senior centers; and allowing limited attendance at sporting events.

Indoor catered events are still prohibited.

The city has also extended its ban on issuing special event permits to at least March 15.

Businesses with questions about how to comply with the city’s restrictions should email business@phila.gov. ••