At the first 24-hour vaccine clinic of the Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium (BDCC), there was a long line at Temple University’s Riakoulas Center.
Prior to the clinic, the group’s founder, Dr. Ala Stanford, said the goal was to vaccinate about 2,000 people, and the group exceeded that number by midnight.
“I was expecting a lot — I don’t know what I expected,” Stanford said.
The clinic started at noon on Friday and ended at noon on Saturday. According to representatives, the group received a total of about 4,000 doses of vaccine. This initiative was designed for Phase 1B people and the elderly aged 75 and over. All of these people had to come from the Philadelphia zip code, which BDCC identified as having a high incidence of viruses and mortality.
Stanford University wanted to put zip code requirements in place as a way to bring greater fairness to the disproportionate deployment of vaccines to white Philadelphians.
Be patient with warm clothes
On Thursday, during a snowstorm, the consortium vaccinated more than 700 people. Due to its large number, Stanford University said it knew that the weather wouldn’t keep people home.
People began appearing at the Riakoulas Center around 9am on Friday in anticipation of a 24-hour clinic. Despite the snow-covered ground, the lines stretched and woven several blocks. Folding chairs were the norm, as many Philadelphians in double masks had been preparing to wait for a long time. Attendees were told, “Warmly dressed and patient.”
Sindia Guerrero, 25, is working with her children and has previously attempted to enroll in BDCC.
“I think it’s great, but at the same time it’s kind of crazy — because of the lines. I waited almost four hours,” Guerrero said.
The average waiting time to enter the clinic for registration varied, but it usually took several hours to get out of the cold. It was not uncommon to hear waiting times of more than 7 hours.
Edna Evans, 88, waited outside for about 30 minutes before being called a friend. She said she was a fan of the 24-hour clinic idea.
“I think it’s good for people who haven’t taken a shot and want to seize the opportunity and see if they can get it,” says Evans.
Her friend Pamela Wingate, 66, has existing requirements to qualify. Wingate has been registered and registered on many sites, but previously no vaccine was available. She thought that by coming late in the evening, much of the crowd would have been dispersed.
“Hopefully, I thought it would be less crowded during dinner time. When I pulled it up, I found that the line was completely around the corner,” Wingate said.
With the elderly in mind, the consortium coordinated the logistics and took them to the arena to reduce waiting time outside.
“My biggest concern was my elderly, so if I could put them all in, it was a burden from my shoulders,” Stanford said.
Once inside, the process took 30 minutes to an hour.
For some, BDCC familiarity has made them comfortable in the deployment of rigorously scrutinized vaccines in Philadelphia.
Jenny Johnson, 73, has survived breast cancer twice and has several pre-existing conditions.
“I don’t know much about how Philadelphia treated it, but I know how Black Doctor treated it. It’s amazing,” Johnson said.
Her husband, George Johnson, 74, was one of the few who took the second dose and waited three hours outside, he said. He wanted to express the importance of vaccination.
“We lost a lot of people, families, and things, grandfathers, uncles in the city … so it’s important to get vaccinated because we don’t want to continue this,” he said. .. “We want to be able to get our kids back to school and we want to get back to work,” he said.
For others waiting in line, this was the first time I’ve heard of the Black Doctor COVID-19 Consortium.
25-year-old Antonio Goode works in the food service industry. He said he knew about the clinic after a colleague sent him information about it.
“I was really pretty lucky. I just waited about three hours, but some of the people I heard started at 9am,” Goode said around 8pm on Friday. I did.
“I think it will be late”
At around 6:30 pm, Stanford told reporters that the total dose for the day was about 3,300, 1,000 of which had already been given.
“I know they’re worried, but there’s enough. Some people count clickers to make sure no one is lined up for doses that aren’t here,” said Stanford University.
By 9 pm, BDCC had received approximately 1,500 doses. With 15 hours remaining, they were nearly half of the allotted dose.
“At some point I think it will be slow, but it’s not,” Stanford said.
The consortium contacted Mayor Jim Kenney to see if additional doses could be obtained. With additional supplies from the city, the 24-hour event provided over 4,000 shots.
Stanford University said it is a great partner in helping manage doses, despite the city’s dispute over its own future vaccine plans.
“The city was very good. Every time they gave us the first dose, they guaranteed us a second dose, so unlike any other place where we had given all the doses in advance. Unlike, the city of Philadelphia did not do this, “says Stanford University.
The clinic ended with almost no problems. There was a small fire nearby, causing confusion outside, but the line closest to the incident moved inward.
All individuals who received the first dose in the 24-hour clinic were scheduled for a second dose scheduled onsite. The second dose will be given on March 23 at the Deliverance Evangelistic Baptist Church in North Philadelphia.
Stanford University believes that the willingness of so many people to stand in the cold on frozen sidewalks for the opportunity to get vaccinated speaks to both supply shortages and high demand.
“People want to live. They want to return to a new normal. Now we all know, it won’t be the same as before, but we want to get closer. I think. Personally, I think it also shows that people trust us. It feels good, “says Stanford University.