Philly’s coronavirus response

Philadelphia to release details about vaccine distribution, reversing initial policy

On the state level, this kind of information is already published regularly.

After receiving the vaccination, patients wait under observation at the community vaccine clinic at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

After receiving the vaccination, patients wait under observation at the community vaccine clinic at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

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Philadelphia will start releasing details about which organizations are getting the vaccine from the city, and how many doses go to each one, officials confirmed Tuesday to Billy Penn.

Once the Health Department is ready to share the info, it’ll be updated on a regular basis, according to spokesperson Jim Garrow. “We are working to ensure that the data we release is clean and final,” he said, “and a process to release this on a regular schedule.”

The move is a reversal from the city’s earlier policy, which was to only report overall figures on inoculations — without specific info on which locations or organizations were receiving vaccine.

That was ostensibly to reduce confusion and “to minimize the number of people who aren’t currently being prioritized from showing up at a clinic and expecting to be vaccinated,” Garrow said.

But residents have been clamoring for these kinds of details.

“How about daily (or even weekly?) updates on where/when vaccines are being administered, by whom, and to whom?” said a Billy Penn reader, one of several who wrote with similar questions, hoping to get a handle on how the rollout was going.

On the state level, this kind of information is released regularly. The Pennsylvania Department of Health has published detailed figures on which organizations got doses, how many of them and when — with all the information updated publicly on a weekly basis.

Philadelphia, however, receives its vaccine directly from the CDC, and is not included in the state tallies.

The city’s original stance on keeping the dose distribution private was also partly based on equity concerns. Across the nation, people without appointments standing in line at vaccination clinics has reportedly contributed to long waits for those who did secure their spot.

Want some more? Explore other Philly’s coronavirus response stories.

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