All adults in Philadelphia will be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine beginning April 19, almost two weeks earlier than the original date of May 1.
Philadelphia Department of Public Health Communications Director James Garrow wrote in an email to The Daily Pennsylvanian on Tuesday that every Philadelphian over the age of 16 will be eligible for the vaccine on April 19 in accordance with President Joe Biden’s new directive.
Biden plans to announce Tuesday that he is moving up the deadline to expand eligibility to all adults by April 19, CNN reported.
Philadelphia Health Commissioner Thomas Farley cautioned that not everyone will be able to get vaccinated right away due to limited supply.
“I still want to make sure that we focus on getting everyone vaccinated over the age of 65 as soon as possible,” he said at a press briefing Tuesday.
He added, however, vaccine availability "will only increase in the coming days."
Philadelphia expanded vaccine eligibility to include four more categories of essential workers, included in Phase 1C, on April 5. Garrow wrote that all essential workers included in Phase 1C will be eligible to receive the vaccine on April 12 as previously planned.
Last week, the City of Philadelphia approved the University as an official COVID-19 vaccination site. Chief Wellness Officer Benoit Dubé told the DP last week that Penn hopes to begin vaccinating eligible members of the Penn community in Gimbel Gymnasium in the Pottruck Health and Fitness Center in mid-April.
As vaccine eligibility expands, Dubé added that Penn may have one cohort, likely composed of faculty and staff, that would receive a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine and another cohort composed of students that would receive the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
The state of Pennsylvania announced on April 1 that all adults would be eligible for the vaccine by April 19 but the change did not apply to the city of Philadelphia.