PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Montgomery County is still struggling to meet the demand for COVID-19 vaccines. But across the county border, Philadelphia now appears to be at the point where if someone who lives in the city wants a vaccine, they can likely get one.
Eyewitness News was at FEMA’s second-largest mass vaccination site in Philadelphia in Hunting Park on Wednesday. It could vaccinate a couple of thousand people per day, but there was a short line outside. It looks like in Philly supply has finally caught up with the demand.READ MORE: Residents In Marple Township Get Opportunity To Weigh In on PECO's Plans For Natural Gas Reliability Station
“We want folks to come down,” Regeane Frederique, manager of the site, said.
A steady stream of people has been filing into the Esperanza Center on Wednesday to get their COVID vaccines at the FEMA-run vaccination clinic in Hunting Park.
“A little cautious about it, but it probably needs to be done,” Dave Schaeffer of East Falls said.
“It’s not going to hurt you,” Judy Rivera of North Philadelphia said. “You just got to have faith in God. That way, all this go away.”
FEMA officials say the site has plenty of vaccines to put into arms.
“You just need to show you’re a Philadelphia resident,” Frederique said.
The Hunting Park site can vaccinate up to 3,000 people each day, but it’s not reaching half of that. Last weekend, for instance, officials say a combined 2,000 people received vaccines over Saturday and Sunday.READ MORE: Wearing Mask May Help Alleviate Seasonal Allergy Symptoms, Researchers Find
“Wherever you can get a chance to get the vaccine, it’s time to get it,” Frederique said. “You can come down to Esperanza. We’re willing and ready for you to come in.”
Over at the mass clinic at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, it can administer 6,000 shots per day, but that site also had a few thousand slots available last weekend.
It’s a stark contrast to Montgomery County.
“Our clinics are pretty full,” Montgomery County Commissioner Dr. Val Arkoosh said.
Arkoosh pointed out Wednesday that even with several vaccine sites, the county is working to catch up and meet demand after the number of vaccines it received from the state health department had previously lagged.
“We’re still working through a lot of people that have been waiting a long time to be vaccinated,” Arkoosh said. “And they seem pretty eager to do so.”
Arkoosh also says it appears COVID cases have plateaued in Montgomery County at about 8%. The virus is considered suppressed at 5%.MORE NEWS: Philadelphia School District Welcomes More Students Back With Phase 3 Hybrid Learning Plan
In Philadelphia, health officials say despite the vaccine rollout, the city is seeing COVID cases trend upward.