Philadelphia is expanding vaccine eligibility to all residents 65 and older, according to a press release from the Mayor’s Office of Communications. Those eligible are now part of the city’s expanded 1B vaccination category.
Eligible residents can fill out a vaccine interest form on the Philadelphia Department of Public Health website and wait to be invited for an appointment.
Prior to the announcement, residents in Phase 1B aged 65 to 74 could only be vaccinated if they suffered from high-risk medical conditions like cancer and chronic kidney disease, The Temple News reported. First responders, teachers and transit workers have been eligible for the 1B category since Jan. 19.
The announcement comes as today marks one year since the first confirmed COVID-19 case in Philadelphia. Mayor Jim Kenney thanked essential workers and encouraged residents to continue wearing masks, according to the press release.
Philadelphia has reported 121,242 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 3,187 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic, according to the Philadelphia Department of Public Health.
“While these numbers are staggering, we also know the reality could have been much worse,” Kenney said in the release. “I thank those front line workers who have helped save lives and keep our city running, as well as every individual who has done their part by honoring restrictions and masking up.”
More than 308,000 Philadelphians have received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and nearly 127,000 have received the second dose, according to the Philadelphia COVID-19 vaccination dashboard.