COVID-19 vaccine eligibility expands in Philly, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- COVID-19 vaccination eligibility expanded throughout the Delaware Valley on Monday, April 5.

Philadelphia



Starting Monday, Philadelphia is expanding eligibility to several more groups of workers under its Phase 1c.

There are 11 total categories in Phase 1c, which city officials believe could total a quarter million people.

Jon Goldenberg and Majorie Schall were the last in line to get a vaccine at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

"It feels fantastic. Hopefully in six months we won't have to wear these things anymore," said Goldenberg in reference to his mask.



Sanitation workers, janitorial staff, utility workers and postal employees are among the first four groups to have priority to sign up for appointments.

"Previously prioritized groups in Phase 1a & 1b are still eligible and are encouraged to seek out vaccination opportunities. Other groups prioritized in Phase 1c will be made eligible later in April," the city said.

RELATED: Philadelphia vaccine rollout begins move to Phase 1c on Monday | What you should know
EMBED More News Videos

Philadelphia is expanding eligibility to several more groups of workers under its Phase 1c.



So far, nearly 280,000 people have received full doses of the vaccine in Philadelphia.

City leaders said their goal is to eventually open up appointments to everyone over the age of 16 by May 1.

Pennsylvania



Philadelphia has its own allotment of vaccine it receives from the federal government, so vaccine distribution there is separate from the rest of the state.

Philadelphia is ahead of Pennsylvania, which just entered Phase 1b.

EMBED More News Videos

COVID-19 vaccination eligibility expanded throughout the Delaware Valley on Monday.



In Pennsylvania, those who are in Phase 1b are now eligible to be vaccinated in the state starting Monday.

This includes people in the following industries:

-Food & Agricultural

-U.S. Postal Service

-Grocery Stores

-Manufacturing

-Education

-Public Transit

-Adult/Child Care



So far more than 3.6 million people have been partially vaccinated in Pennsylvania. Just over half of that number have been fully vaccinated.

Pennsylvania is expected to move to Phase 1c next Monday, April 12.

RELATED: Pa. announces accelerated COVID-19 vaccine timeline; all residents eligible by April 19
EMBED More News Videos

Pennsylvania health officials announced on Wednesday that beginning April 19, all residents will be able to schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment.



All Pennsylvanians will be eligible to receive a vaccine as of April 19.

Last week, the Pennsylvania Department of Health announced the southeastern counties including Bucks, Montgomery, Delaware and Chester counties would receive 42,000 of the one dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine starting weekly.

However, on Monday, those counties received a surprise: double the amount of doses for the first week. The doses will be divided equally among the four counties.

"We got 20,000 of the J & J shots today," said Bucks County Comissioner Diane Marseglia.

She also says if you made an appointment with the county but find an opportunity elsewhere, you are urged to cancel your county appointment.

"It would be helpful if people would come in and cancel so somebody else can have it. But we've been able to roll with that and fill people in pretty well," said Marseglia.

We asked Philadelphia Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley on Monday why the city is ahead. Philadelphia was able to move all first responders into an earlier phase, as opposed to the state which just began vaccinating first responders last week.

Farley said it may simply have to do with different ways to tackle vaccine distribution.

"That was just a different approach, maybe a different situation," said Farley. "I do think there's an advantage for us to be more in sync with the state, and in the next couple of weeks we hope to be more in sync with the state," Farley added.

New Jersey



In New Jersey, the vaccination expansion on Monday now includes people ages 55 through 64.

Those who are ages 16 and up with intellectual and developmental disabilities are also now eligible, as well as additional frontline essential workers, which includes those working in higher education.



So far more than 1.7 million people have been fully vaccinated in New Jersey, but there is still concern as the state lags behind several other states in the number of people vaccinated.

New Jersey officials said more than 700 vaccination centers have been opened in the state.

RELATED: New Jersey to expand COVID-19 vaccine eligibility in April
EMBED More News Videos

New Jersey will expand COVID-19 vaccine eligibility beginning April 5.



Gov. Phil Murphy announced that everyone 16 and over in the state will be eligible to receive the COVID vaccine on April 19.

Delaware



Everyone in Delaware 16 and older will become eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine starting Tuesday.



Delawareans can register on the state's coronavirus vaccination online waiting list.

Pharmacies may also begin vaccinating everyone in that age group as of Tuesday, as well.

RELATED: Delaware expands COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to all residents 16+
EMBED More News Videos

Everyone in Delaware 16 and older will become eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine starting Tuesday.

Copyright © 2021 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.