FEMA to open second COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Philadelphia in underserved neighborhood

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The Federal Emergency Management Agency plans to open a second COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Philadelphia. This one will be in a part of North Philadelphia where a lower percentage of residents has gotten the vaccine.

Health Commissioner Dr. Tom Farley says the new FEMA clinic is set to open April 9 at the nonprofit Esperanza at 5th Street and Hunting Park Avenue.

"This is going to be more accessible to neighborhoods in the city that have low vaccination rates right now," Farley said on Monday. "So we’re very excited about that additional site."

Farley says it will give 1,500 to 3,000 shots a day, depending on vaccine availability.

He said the vaccine is more important than ever, because cases are rising in Philadelphia again, as they are elsewhere. The city is averaging 450 new cases a day, whereas they were under 200 just weeks ago.

A new study out of the University of Pennsylvania estimates that 30% of the new cases are variants that are more easily spread.

"It's no more serious an infection, and it’s an infection that is still prevented by vaccination, but it does mean we need to be more careful about keeping our distance, at least until we’re vaccinated," he said.

Farley spoke outside of the ninth city-run clinic to open. This one is in a fire department community services building in Oak Lane.

CORRECTION: The FEMA clinic is at the nonprofit Esperanza, not the charter school it runs across the street.