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Mass COVID-19 Vaccination Efforts Continue With 3rd Collaboration Between Penn, Mercy Medicine In West Philly

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Vaccination sites in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey saw thousands of citizens get their first doses of the COVID-19 vaccination on Saturday. It comes as both states continue to try to inoculate vulnerable and essential populations.

Sleeves were rolling up en mass Saturday as West Philadelphia residents filed into the School of the Future to receive their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

covid vaccine west philly
(Credit: CBS3)

Margaret Reid proudly displayed her sticker as the 91-year-old finally was able to get an appointment.

"I'm not going to do anything but lay and sleep and eat," Reid said.

All doses were first ones with a return date for second doses at the same site on April 3.

"First of all, this is an area of great need," Penn Medicine Dr. PJ Brennan said. "That's why we're here. We're trying to reduce disparities, we're trying to overcome the hesitancy in the community and reach a population that has really been affected by this pandemic."

This is the third mass vaccination collaboration between Penn and Mercy Medicine in as many weeks with the hope of 1,500 people being inoculated on Saturday.

"Look, this is my second trip to this site and each time, I was incredibly impressed," New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said.

In New Jersey, Murphy toured a mass vaccination site at Rowan University in Gloucester County, which is currently vaccinating roughly 4,000 people per day, now with an increased emphasis on educators.

The governor expects the supply of COVID vaccinations to "explode" in about one month and hopes anyone who wants a vaccination, will have access to one.

"The next three weeks I think are sort of more incremental and then I think it goes up on a big way," Murphy said. "Two things, one, J&J coming online, and then both Moderna and Pfizer have committed to a much more significant ramp-up of supply. All of that together, it's going up in a big way."

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