TL;DR: The region’s first public vaccination site for heath-care workers opened on Wednesday at Montgomery County Community College, possibly providing a blueprint for larger-scale efforts to distribute the vaccine. Just 21 people out of the 1.9 million who received a first COVID-19 vaccine dose in mid-December, experienced a severe but treatable allergic reaction, federal health officials said Wednesday, calling the rate of such events “exceedingly rare.”

— Ellie Silverman (@esilverman11, health@inquirer.com)

What you need to know:

😷 Philadelphia’s health commissioner warned that incoming coronavirus vaccine doses being shipped to the city are “not enough.

🏥 In New Jersey, officials estimate vaccines may be widely available by the spring. Pennsylvania and New Jersey are working on who gets the vaccine next, and when.

🍽️ Pennsylvania has allowed indoor dining and other activities to resume, but Philadelphia will keep its temporary ban on indoor dining and other activities until at least Jan. 15.

🏀 Rowan University announced that the winter sports season is canceled due to the current COVID-19 pandemic.

🚒 Of roughly 200 medics first offered the vaccine, only about half opted to get the shot, Philadelphia Fire Commissioner Adam Thiel said at a news conference Wednesday. Medics had cited “everything under the sun” when declining the vaccine, but he hopes more will consider taking it.

🥽 Winter’s chill hasn’t stopped his Philly-area swim club from practicing outdoors in the pandemic.

📰 What’s going on in your county or neighborhood? We organized recent coverage of the coronavirus pandemic by local counties and Philly neighborhoods mentioned in the stories to make it easier for you to find the info you care about.

Local coronavirus cases

📈The coronavirus has swept across the Philadelphia region and cases continue to mount. The Inquirer and Spotlight PA are compiling geographic data on tests conducted, cases confirmed, and deaths caused by the virus. Track the spread here.

The region’s first public vaccination site for heath-care workers opened on Wednesday at Montgomery County Community College, possibly providing a blueprint for larger-scale efforts to distribute the vaccine. People facing the highest exposure risk, including health-care workers and residents of nursing facilities, are the only people eligible for this first round of vaccinations, and there is no timeline for when it will be available to the general public. Read more here.

Just 21 people out of the 1.9 million who received a first COVID-19 vaccine dose in mid-December experienced a severe but treatable allergic reaction, federal health officials said Wednesday, calling the rate of such events “exceedingly rare.” “These are safe and effective vaccines,” said Nancy Messonnier, director of the agency’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. “We have good data to show that.” Read more here.

Helpful resources

You got this: Call this hotline to hear a poem of hope

Starting this week, my colleague Brandon T. Harden reports, you can call Healing Verse Philly Poetry Line (1-855-763-6792), a toll-free telephone line that offers callers a 90-second poem by a Philadelphia-connected poet. Philadelphia poet laureate Trapeta B. Mayson recently launched the service and a new poem will be featured each Monday throughout the year. Read more here.

📝 How to write a will in Pennsylvania.

These hot drinks heat up outdoor dining.

📚 What to read in 2021 — based on what you loved in 2020.

Have a social distancing tip or question to share? Let us know at health@inquirer.com and your input might be featured in a future edition of this newsletter.

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