Philadelphia City Councilman Allan Domb told his constituents in a Thursday meeting that the city must act quickly to administer vaccines.
“We cannot fight this pandemic if we do not come together around a massive plan,” Domb said.
Domb said there is a massive imbalance between those who need to be vaccinated and the current stock of vaccine doses. According to The New York Times, Philadelphia county currently has over 122,000 cases reported with over 3,000 deaths. Cases have been in a downward trend with the weekly average on new cases going from 7,000 cases in December to just short of 2,500 cases this week. Despite the progress, Domb told other councilmembers he fears the vaccine doses will be wasted.
As of the meeting, 468,553 total vaccinations had been administered in Philadelphia with many of those being second doses. But, Domb stressed that this number is simply not enough.
“We are sitting on 50,000 doses today that have not been administered to Philadelphia,” Domb said. “And unless we act now these numbers are only going to get worse.”
Earlier this week, several people registered for their vaccination on the Philadelphia Department of Public Health’s website. However, many people that did not fit the Phase 1B requirements were still able to schedule vaccination appointments.
According to The Inquirer, Tiffany Tate, the CEO of Maryland Partnership for Prevention and the software creator for vaccination registrations in Philadelphia explained that the layout of the registration was completely intentional and it relied on citizens to be responsible and respectful enough to not ‘jump the line’ in front of those with serious underlying conditions.
Ellie Norris, a resident in West Chester, PA, was one of the people in the line that wrapped around 12th and Arch street last week to get a vaccination appointment. Norris said she doesn’t have any underlying conditions, but the website never asked for much personal information when signing up to begin with.
“It was very easy to sign up,” Norris said. “I was surprised how little they asked about what my occupation was or what underlying health conditions I had.”
Norris said although she was a Chester County resident she was still able to sign up. The site even offered Chester County as an option for residency. Even so, Norris did mention that her vaccination appointment was not the smoothest process and hopes that changes can be made to make appointments quicker for those who signed up.
“The woman in line ahead of me had an appointment for 3pm and my appointment was at 3:25pm but I didn’t actually get the vaccine until 4:30pm,” Norris said. “ If there are going to be appointment times people should be held accountable for their times and so should the venue.”
Now, the convention center is allowing walk in appointments for those living in high risk areas in the city, and all residents have to provide is identification and proof of residency.