COVID-19 Vaccine Update (NOTE: Revised 4/9/2021)
The new FEMA COVID Mass Vaccination Site is NOT being hosted by Esperanza Health Center – it is being hosted by Esperanza, Inc. at their 4261 N. 5th Street (5th and Hunting Park) location.
Am I ELIGIBLE to get the VACCINE?
We are currently accepting requests for appointments to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at Esperanza Health Center.
To be eligible to receive the vaccine at this time, you must meet the following criteria (from Phase 1b of the City’s Vaccine Plan):
1) You must have a Philadelphia home address AND
2) You must be in one of the categories below:
- Age 65 or older
- Have one of the following high risk health conditions, including:
- Chronic kidney disease
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- Certain heart conditions (such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies)
- Weakened immune system because of organ transplant status
- HIV (any stage, asymptomatic or AIDS)
- Obesity with BMI over 30
- Sickle cell disease
- Types 1 and 2 diabetes
- Down syndrome
- Persons with immunocompromised state from other immune deficiencies, use of oral corticosteroids, or other immune weakening medicines
- People with intellectual disabilities
- High risk for exposure & perform essential duties due to employment, including the following occupations:
- Police, paramedics/EMTs and firefighters
- Service providers required to do home visits or visits to high-risk congregate settings; staff at senior centers/day programs for seniors and those with intellectual disabilities
- Public transit workers
- Food distribution, prep, or service workers
- Teachers/public facing staff of childcare, K-12 schools, libraries and recreation centers (includes custodians and food preparation staff)
- Factory/manufacturing workers whose work conditions require them to be present in person at sites with 20 or more people per room, and/or cannot maintain 6 feet of distance and masking while at work
- Sanitation workers
- Maintenance and janitorial staff
- Utility workers
- Postal and package delivery workers
- Persons living or working in high-risk congregate residential facilities i.e., prisons, residential drug and alcohol treatment facilities (note – does not include apartments, condos, and other independent living facilities)
Please visit this page for a complete summary of vaccine eligibility in Philadelphia (last updated 3/19/2021).
Do I need an appointment to get the vaccine?
YES, but do not call us for a COVID-19 vaccine appointment—please complete the form below to request to be scheduled for a vaccine appointment at one of Esperanza Health Center’s locations.
Additional important information for Esperanza Health Center patients who wish to request a vaccine appointment:
- We will try to make vaccines available during your scheduled medical appointments with your primary medical clinician.
- We will also send text messages to patients who qualify (as described above) asking them if they WANT to receive the vaccine. These text messages will be sent slowly over many weeks.
- If you reply “Yes,” we will call you to schedule you for the vaccine.
- If you are at high risk for exposure & perform essential duties in your job, please send us a message in your patient portal account, stating the type of work you do and that you would like to receive the vaccine.
- We will then be in touch with you to schedule you for the vaccine.
Please Note: This process will take a number of months to complete.
- Given staff limitations causing overloaded phone lines we ask that you plesae do not call us to request a vaccine.
- Please continue to visit this page of our website regularly for ongoing updates about COVID vaccination—we will make regular updates to this page as more information becomes available.
- We request your patience with this process, even as we too are being patient—thank you!
Questions or concerns about the vaccine? Now is the time to discuss any questions or concerns you may have about the vaccine with your primary care provider.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does the vaccine work?
The currently available vaccines are 94-95% effective at preventing COVID illness.
I'm worried about side effects.
The vaccine commonly causes mild to moderate symptoms such as pain at the injection site, fatigue, headache, muscle pain, chills, joint pain and fever which typically resolve in 1-2 days, and typically improve with Tylenol or Motrin. Worse side effects such as severe allergic reaction are very rare, and occur typically in a patient who has had a severe allergic reaction.
Are the vaccines safe?
Yes. All the COVID-19 vaccines being used have gone through rigorous studies to ensure they are as safe as possible. Tens of thousands of people participated in clinical trials, including people of all ages, races and ethnicities. The trials also included people who have other health conditions, such as diabetes, HIV, heart disease, lung disease and more — and there were no specific complications for these groups, either. The top vaccine experts in the world reviewed and approved the results of these trials. For more information, visit the CDC website.
Can the vaccine give you COVID-19?
No. None of the COVID-19 vaccines contain the live virus that causes COVID-19. This means that a COVID-19 vaccine cannot make you sick with COVID-19. You do not need to quarantine after receiving the vaccine.
What does Esperanza recommend?
We strongly encourage you to consider getting the vaccine once it is available to protect yourself and your loved ones. We recommend the vaccine for all patients except those who have a history of severe allergic reactions to injectable medications.
Help Slow the Spread of COVID-19!
Distributing the vaccine will take time and patience. We all need to keep doing our part to slow the spread of COVID-19 by doing the following:
- Wear a mask/face covering over your nose and mouth.
- Practice physical distancing of at least 6 feet.
- Wash your hands regularly for 20 seconds.
- Avoid indoor gatherings with those outside your immediate household.