PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It’s been anything but a smooth start to the COVID-19 vaccine rollout. One local doctor who is constantly battling for vaccines to protect the elderly and disadvantaged is fed up with people cutting the line. She is taking matters into her own hands and laying new ground rules.
The Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium has been operating out of churches and parking lots in predominantly Black neighborhoods since the beginning of the pandemic.READ MORE: Thieves Steal ATM From West Philadelphia Laundromat
Eyewitness News showed up at the clinic on Thursday to find out if residents took heed to the CEO’s announcement from Wednesday.
COVID-19 vaccines are in high demand, and some Pennsylvanians have been attempting to bear arms by any means necessary, which prompted a news conference from Dr. Ala Stanford, the CEO of the Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium on Wednesday.
“The number of individuals with no health conditions who have never stepped foot in Black neighborhoods in the past month has been unconscionable,” Stanford said.
Black people are being diagnosed and dying from COVID-19 at a disproportionately higher rate than other groups. The consortium’s goal is to address that need.
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TONIGHT: I speak exclusively with Dr. Ala Stanford, a day after announcing tighter requirements around vaccination distribution at the Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium. The goal is to get the vaccine to the communities hardest hit by the virus, & that’s not who was showing up. pic.twitter.com/IBJRaG5v86
— Kimberly Davis CBS3 (@KimberlyDavisTV) February 12, 2021
Twenty-four hours after Stanford’s announcement, she’s noticed a significant difference in just who was showing up to be vaccinated.
“This crowd looks different than the crowd that was here at the top of the week, for certain,” Stanford said.
Stanford turned away one person Thursday. She now requires an ID proving residency as well as qualifications to be vaccinated.
Philadelphians like Ida and Leonard Jenkins of West Philly.
“Well, it’s very important,” Ida Jenkins said. “We want to continue living a good life.”
“I want to live as long as I can, and I’m in my 80s now,” Leonard Jenkins said.
At the beginning of the vaccine rollout, the Black community seemed to be skeptical of it, but now Stanford says that has changed.
“To quote the Tuskegee airman today, he said to me, ‘when I was here four weeks ago, it didn’t look like this.’ And I said, ‘well, what happened?’ He said, ‘we woke up,’” Stanford said.MORE NEWS: Philadelphia School District, Teacher's Union To Hold News Conference About Return To In-Person Learning, Sources Say
Meanwhile, President Joe Biden said Thursday the United States should have enough vaccine to inoculate 300 million Americans by the end of July. Biden said the country secured contracts with Pfizer and Moderna for 600 million doses.