The general public is not eligible yet for the COVID-19 vaccine. And there’s currently no statewide sign up system in Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania Department of Health encourages residents to keep an eye on their website for more information.

But if you live in Philly, you can now “pre-commit” to receiving a COVID-19 vaccine and become among the first to know when it’s your turn to get vaccinated.

Who is managing Philly’s COVID-19 vaccine alerts?

In partnership with the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, Philly Fighting COVID (PFC) created the online alert system.

Launched at the beginning of the pandemic, PFC is a local nonprofit made up of volunteers, engineers, and scientists. The organization started making PPE for health care workers, which led to a partnership with the Philadelphia Department of Public Health to provide free, COVID-19 testing at four city clinics.

PFC is now focusing all of its efforts on vaccine operations. PFC founded the city’s first mass community COVID-19 vaccination clinic, located inside the Pennsylvania Convention Center. Staffed by nurses and physician’s assistants, it’s intended to speed up the rollout of the vaccine. The clinic has the capacity to vaccinate between 100 and 450 people per hour — 1,000 to 4,500 people per day — and is the first of several PFC community clinics planned. One of these might be where you end up getting vaccinated.

What does ‘pre-committing’ mean?

If you live in Philadelphia, you can go online and register that you want to get a COVID-19 vaccine. Pre-committing is not a requirement to get vaccinated in the city. However, the Philadelphia Department of Public Health encourages all residents to do so.

To be clear, this won’t actually schedule you for a future vaccination appointment. But it will help you stay better informed.

Sign up, and you’ll be alerted when it’s your turn to get vaccinated as soon as that information becomes available. You’ll also receive email updates about the status of vaccine administration across the city. And by registering, you’ll help PFC and the city decide where to set up clinics, expediting vaccination rollout across the city.

How to sign up for Philly COVID-19 vaccine alerts

  1. To sign up, visit phillyfightingcovid.com/vaccine, and click on the button that says “pre-commit to getting vaccinated.”
  2. Enter your full name and email address, and create a password to create an account.
  3. Check your email for a confirmation email. You need to click the confirmation link in the email, which confirms your account and takes you to a page on COVIDReadi, the portal PFC is using to register those who pre-commit.
  4. On the COVIDReadi landing page, click the “pre-commit to getting vaccinated” button.
  5. On the following form, you’ll need to provide personal information, including your name, contact information, occupation, and where you live and work.

Once you sign and complete the form, you’ll receive updates about when it’s your turn to be vaccinated.

The Philadelphia Department of Public Health encourages all city residents to sign up through Philly Fighting COVID to pre-commit to receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. This will help the city plan clinic sites and keep you updated on when it's your turn to get vaccinated.
Screenshot: COVIDReadi
The Philadelphia Department of Public Health encourages all city residents to sign up through Philly Fighting COVID to pre-commit to receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. This will help the city plan clinic sites and keep you updated on when it's your turn to get vaccinated.

Who’s getting vaccinated right now in Pennsylvania?

Vaccines are being rolled out under a phased approach, following CDC guidelines. The phases are as follows:

  • Phase 1a.: Frontline health workers and nursing home residents and staff
  • Phase 1b: People 75 years and older, people in congregate settings other than nursing homes, like correctional and behavioral health facilities, and other frontline essential workers, including first responders, food and agriculture workers, U.S. Postal Service workers, manufacturing workers, grocery store employees, education workers, clergy and other essential support for houses of worship, public transit workers, and individuals caring for children or adults in early childhood and adult day programs (see full list here)
  • Phase 1c: People 65 years and older, people 16 years and older with high-risk conditions, and a broader group of essential workers than in phase 1b, including those that work in transportation, food service, housing construction, finance and banking, information technology, communications and media, energy, legal services, federal, state, county and local government workers, public safety, and public health (see full list here)
  • Phase 2: All individuals not previously covered who are 16 years and older and do not have a contraindication to the vaccine

To check the current vaccine phase in Pennsylvania, visit health.pa.gov/topics/disease/coronavirus/Pages/Vaccine.aspx.