Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium offering flu shots in Philly

People in their vehicles receive COVID-19 tests at a barrier free location outside the Pinn Memorial Baptist Church in Philadelphia, Wednesday, April 22, 2020. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

People in their vehicles receive COVID-19 tests at a barrier free location outside the Pinn Memorial Baptist Church in Philadelphia, Wednesday, April 22, 2020. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

The Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium is offering free community-based flu shots to help stave off a possible “twindemic” of the coronavirus and seasonal influenza.

Since April, the consortium has tested 10,000 people in the Philadelphia region for the coronavirus, showing up in church parking lots and tent pop-ups on city street corners. Founded by Dr. Ala Stanford, a pediatric surgeon, the group’s efforts have been focused on increasing access to testing in a city where Black Philadelphians were contracting the coronavirus at a rate nearly twice that of their white counterparts.

The consortium will be providing both flu shots and coronavirus testing at the following locations and times:

Saturday, Oct. 17, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Mander Playground, 2140 N. 33rd St., Philadelphia 19132

Tuesday, Oct. 20, from 4 to 7 p.m.
Esperanza, 4261 N. Fifth St., Philadelphia 19140

Thursday, Oct. 22, from 4 to 7 p.m.
New Covenant Church of Philadelphia, 7500 Germantown Ave., Philadelphia 19119

Saturday, Oct. 24, from 4 to 7 p.m.
Yesha Ministries Worship, 2301 Snyder Ave., Philadelphia 19145

Health Commissioner Thomas Farley and Stanford held a press conference Friday morning at Deliverance Evangelistic Church in North Philadelphia, where the consortium was offering flu shots and COVID-19 tests.

“It’s especially important for everyone over the age of six months to get their flu shot this year. It is possible for people to catch both viruses at the same time, but right now, we only have a vaccine that can prevent one of them,” said Farley, who received a flu shot from Stanford during the event.

People can also receive flu shots at their local pharmacy as well as one of the City Health Centers. You can call ahead for a same-day appointment at 215-685-2933.

Public health officials are concerned about the potential burden on the regional health systems dealing with a possible surge of COVID-19 cases as well as severe cases of the flu.

Pennsylvania requested and was allocated 386,130 doses of the flu vaccine in 2019. This year, officials requested more than 860,000 doses — and that doesn’t cover Philadelphia, which receives its own allocation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The state Health Department received CDC funding for a media campaign aimed at motivating residents to get their flu shots.

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