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The Philadelphia Department of Health announced all adults are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in Philadelphia.

Credit: Chase Sutton

All adults are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in Philadelphia.

The Philadelphia Department of Health announced on Friday that everyone over the age of 16 would be immediately eligible for the vaccine, moving the city to phase 2 of vaccine distribution. The City had previously planned to expand eligibility to all adults on Monday, but Health Commissioner Thomas Farley said that several vaccine providers had extra available appointments. 

As the City enters the next phase of distribution, Farley said they are shifting their focus to overcoming vaccine hesitancy and making sure that people who are unsure choose to get vaccinated.

Philadelphia residents should fill out the "COVID-19 Vaccine Interest Form" to be notified when there is a vaccine for them.

In the last three weeks, the City has administered an average of 120,000 doses. 40% of the city's adult population has already received at least one dose of the vaccine. Experts believe that about 70% of the population needs to be vaccinated to achieve herd immunity, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported

The expansion came as the rate of new infections continues to climb in Philadelphia. The city is currently averaging more than 600 new confirmed cases each day, Farley said.

Penn opened its on-campus vaccination clinic on Wednesday, administering doses to faculty, staff, and postdoctoral students who are Philadelphia residents as well as residential advisors and graduate associates. The entirety of the Penn community, including students, are eligible to receive the vaccine on campus on April 19. 

Penn community members can sign up to receive the vaccine using the same scheduling platform students use to book COVID-19 testing appointments. The University will release appointment slots for the upcoming week by Friday afternoon of each week. 

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