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The City of Philadelphia has unveiled a new website that allows people to sign up to be notified when a coronavirus vaccine becomes available to them.
The COVID-19 interest form website is available in both English and Spanish and requires that people enter some personal information, including name, address, field of work and some medical history, all of which are to be kept confidential with the Philadelphia Department of Public Health and used only to connect people to places where they can get a vaccine.
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The health department, however, emphasized that the “due to extremely limited vaccine supply at this time,” people won’t be able to use the website to make appointments to get inoculated, and that it may be “weeks or months” before appointment scheduling is possible.
“Having a vaccine against COVID is a major step forward, but we understand that many Philadelphians are frustrated by not knowing how to get vaccinated. While we cannot make more doses of vaccine appear, with this sign-up, we can at least assure interested Philadelphians that they will be contacted when their opportunity to get vaccinated comes up,” Health Commissioner, Dr. Thomas Farley, said in a statement.
The city’s website is also up and running after prior confusion due to other city-affiliated groups setting up their own “pre-registration” sites.
Earlier in the week, Farley said the city was receiving information about who was getting vaccinated through one of the groups, Philly Fighting COVID, but added that it wasn’t receiving other information beyond that. However, the health department now says it is working with Philly Fighting COVID, the Black Doctor’s COVID-19 Consortium and Acme “to ensure that the information those groups have collected will be added to the City’s database.”
“The Department of Public Health is developing tools to ensure that residents can register using any site, or all of the sites (ensuring that their information is collated into one record), so they can be contacted when they are eligible to get their vaccination,” the department said.
Currently, the following groups of people are eligible to get a vaccine:
- Health care workers
- People who live in nursing homes
- First responders (such as police officers and firefighters)
- People who live and work in congregate settings, such as behavioral health facilities
- People age 75 or older
- People under age 75 who have:
- Organ transplant(s)
- Chronic kidney disease