All adults 16 and older in Philadelphia will be eligible to be vaccinated on April 19, Health Commissioner Thomas Farley announced at the city’s weekly COVID-19 press briefing today.
Farley’s announcement comes amid reports that President Joe Biden will expand vaccine eligibility to all American adults by April 19, two weeks earlier than his previous May 1 deadline, as the country’s pace of vaccine delivery continues to increase, CNN reported.
The city will also expand eligibility on April 12 to all members of the Phase 1C category who weren’t made eligible by the previous expansion on April 5, Farley announced. Essential workers who cannot work remotely, including unpaid caregivers, media personnel and construction workers, will also become eligible, Farley said.
Farley encouraged essential personnel who are able to work remotely to continue doing so and stressed the importance for all Philadelphians aged 65 and older being vaccinated as soon as possible.
“My message to Philadelphia residents is if you’re over 65, sign up now,” Farley said. “Don’t delay, this epidemic wave is significant.”
As of April 5, more than 556,000 Philadelphians have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and more than 318,000 have been fully vaccinated, The Temple News reported.
At the briefing, Farley also said Philadelphia will not immediately follow Pennsylvania’s expansion of indoor dining capacity for some restaurants to 75 percent, which the commonwealth allowed beginning April 4.
“We are too concerned about restaurants and bars, which we know are very high-risk settings,” Farley said.
Farley continued encouraging residents to follow social distancing guidelines and get vaccinated as soon as they become eligible.
“The epidemic is still here and it’s still deadly,” Farley said. “Wear a mask, keep your distance and avoid being around others, and as soon as it’s your turn, get vaccinated.”