In an effort to expand access and equitable distribution of the coronavirus vaccine, starting Monday the Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium will offer walk-up vaccinations for qualified Philadelphians at all of its clinics.
On a first-come first-serve basis, Philadelphians who are age 75 and older, or who qualify under the city’s 1B vaccination category and live in zip codes identified by the organization as “hardest hit” by the coronavirus, can visit the consortium’s sites.
This week, the group will be at Temple University’s Liacouras Center from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, and Saturday. No appointments are necessary.
The group will only offer second shots, for which appointments are necessary, on Thursday and Friday at Christian Stronghold Baptist Church at 4701 Lancaster Ave., in West Philadelphia.
Philadelphians age 75 and up may get vaccinated regardless of their zip code. All other residents must be in the 1B category and must bring an ID or other form of documentation, such as a cable or utility bill, verifying their residency in the following zip codes: 19131, 19151, 19139, 19104, 19143, 19142, 19153, 19145, 19146, 19123, 19121, 19132, 19140, 19144, 19119, 19138, 19126, 19141, 19150, 19124.
Philadelphia is the only county in the state where people 16 to 64 with high-risk conditions are eligible to receive doses in phase 1B.
Dr. Ala Stanford, a pediatric surgeon who heads the group of physicians, said the sites will have a set number of vaccines each day, and will cut off the line once they reach the limit.
The consortium has provided some walk-up access at its sites in the past, but most patients have had to preregister online or over the phone for appointments.
“If you had a computer or you had access to a smartphone, you could register,” Stanford said in an interview last month. “There are more people that don’t than that do.”
“It’s the only way to level the playing field,” she said of the walk-up process.
While more than 40% of Philadelphians are Black, that group has received about 22% of the doses administered in the city, though that number has steadily increased. Stanford said that once the percent of doses administered reflects a population’s representation in the city, the group would expand the qualifications of who can get vaccinated at its sites.
The Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium held the city’s first 24-hour, walk-up vaccine site at the Liacouras Center last month, which saw a massive turnout. The group vaccinated nearly 4,000 people, about 75% of whom were people of color — a particularly notable number in a city where about 54% of people who have received the vaccine are white, even though they make up just 40% of residents.