Editor’s note: This article has been updated to reflect new information on the Delta variant of coronavirus and to include the Department of Public Health’s updates on mask recommendations.
Philadelphia is still in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
As of Sept. 1, 2021, 66% of Philadelphians ages 18 and up have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and 81% have received at least one dose, which puts them at a minimal risk for contracting the virus. Still, nearly 19% of city residents, over 300,000 people, have yet to receive at least one dose of the vaccine, meaning those Philadelphians are currently at a higher risk due to the increased number of positive COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in the area, according to the New York Times Coronavirus Tracker.
At this stage in the pandemic, 99% of COVID-19 related deaths are among people who have not yet been vaccinated, reported the Associated Press. Internationally, countries, including the U.S., are navigating a new variant of COVID-19 — the fourth one identified since the beginning of the pandemic. Named the “Delta” variant after the fourth letter in the Greek alphabet, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says this variant is more transmissible than previous strains of COVID-19, can be passed on by vaccinated people, and may cause more serious disease than previous variants, reported Reuters.
In Philadelphia, COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are on the rise, while COVID-19-related deaths remain at about the same level. Additionally, as of Sept. 1, Philadelphia county is experiencing high transmission of COVID-19, mostly due to the Delta variant, according to the CDC.
While the city ended all pandemic-based restrictions and the mask mandate back in June, the Department of Public Health is now advising everyone — regardless of vaccination status — to wear a mask when in public indoor places. The city also advises to choose outdoor rather than indoor spaces for events and gatherings.
The Department of Public Health continues to advise unvaccinated individuals to avoid indoor activities, nonessential travel, and events with large groups of people. For fully vaccinated people, indoor activities, traveling, and activities with large groups of people pose less of a risk, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
If you have not received your vaccine yet, multiple places and opportunities exist for you to get one. Below, Kensington Voice has compiled a list of answers to frequently asked questions about the vaccine and neighborhood vaccination sites.
Frequently asked questions about receiving the COVID-19 vaccine
Am I eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in Philadelphia?
Yes, depending on your age. Any Philadelphian who is at least 12 years old is eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine.
Among the three vaccines, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is authorized for people who are 12 years old and up. The Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are authorized for people who are 18 years old and up. Check with your provider to see which vaccine they have in stock.
Will I have to pay for my COVID-19 vaccine?
No, you shouldn’t.
According to the Pennsylvania Insurance Department, if you have insurance, your health care provider will bill your insurance company for your vaccination.
That means you won’t have a copay, coinsurance, or deductible for your vaccination.
What if I don’t have insurance?
If you don’t have insurance, you shouldn’t have to pay for your vaccine, either.
For health care providers who vaccinate uninsured patients, the federal Health Resources & Services Administration’s (HRSA) COVID-19 Uninsured Program will reimburse them for the cost of a vaccination. Still, check with your provider before your scheduled visit to make sure you will not be charged.
At your appointment, you may be asked for your social security number, driver’s license, or state-issued identification, which your provider will use when applying for reimbursement for your vaccination. You are not required to give this information, but, according to the Pennsylvania Immunization Coalition, your provider is required to at least confirm that they asked for it when applying for reimbursement.
Can I receive the COVID-19 vaccine if I am an undocumented immigrant?
According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, everyone is encouraged to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, regardless of immigration status. Additionally, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection have said they will not conduct enforcement operations at or near vaccination sites.
You are not required to provide identification or a social security number at your vaccination appointment, but you may be asked for them (see above section).
For additional information and frequently asked questions regarding immigrants’ access to COVID-19 vaccines, click here.
What if I live outside of Philadelphia, but want to get vaccinated in the city?
As of May 12, 2021, there is no longer a requirement that you have to be a Philadelphia resident to receive the COVID-19 vaccine within Philadelphia.
Where can I receive the COVID-19 vaccine in Kensington?
In quite a few places.
There are vaccination sites at local pharmacies and health centers. There are also pop-up vaccination sites and mobile vaccination sites that visit Kensington. To find a location near you, use the interactive Google map below or scroll through our listed options. Appointments are required for a vaccination at all the locations listed.
To learn more about the COVID-19 vaccines in your preferred language, click here.
To search for other vaccination sites that aren’t on this list, you can use the federal vaccine finder to search by zip code.
COVID-19 Vaccine sites in Kensington
2534 E. Allegheny Ave.
To schedule an appointment, call 215-999-7981 for new patients or 215-426-0200 for current patients.
2541 Kensington Ave.
To schedule an appointment, call 215- 739-9975.
216 W. Somerset St.
Limited walk-up appointments available on a first come, first served basis. If you need assistance scheduling an appointment, please call 267-507-7448.
2701 Castor Ave.
To schedule an appointment, fill out CVS’ online form to find an available location near you.
861 E. Allegheny Ave.
To schedule an appointment, call their COVID Vaccine Hotline (Monday to Friday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.) at 215-807-8620, or click here.
1802 Frankford Ave.
To schedule an appointment, call 267-687-7562 or send an email to email@example.com.
At the intersection of Ruth and Clearfield streets in Kensington
Pop-up vaccination site
Every Tuesday and Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
401 W. Allegheny Ave.
To schedule an appointment, click here.
3025-27 Kensington Ave.
To schedule an appointment, click here.
To schedule an appointment, fill out Rite Aid’s online form to find an available location near you.
3745 Aramingo Ave.
To schedule an appointment, check out ShopRite’s Vaccine Information page. To find the Aramingo location, choose a vaccine, enter your zip code, and then on the next page change the location to Aramingo Avenue.
Editors: Zari Tarazona, Claire Wolters / Designer: Henry Savage
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