Vaccine rollout: Pennsylvania expands to 1C; Philly increases eligibility list Monday

EAST NORRITON TWP., Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- On Monday, residents in Phase 1C will be eligible to get the COVID vaccine in Pennsylvania, and the list of eligible residents is increasing in Philadelphia.

Some residents say they're having an easier time finding appointments despite more people becoming eligible.

"I had a hard time getting an appointment but this popped up and we got it," said Susan O'Brien from Horsham, who got her first dose at a clinic with East Norriton Pharmacy Sunday.

She and her husband, Jay, had been looking for an appointment for months.

"It's been hard, it's been really hard. Separation from grandchildren and people, and working from home," she said.

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The appointment-only clinic vaccinated 1,000 people in phase 1A and 1B at an old Walmart in East Norriton Township.

"Before there was chaos, everyone trying to get the vaccine and they couldn't find a spot. There's more clinics opening up," said Manzil Panchal, the owner of East Norriton Pharmacy, which has vaccinated more than 12,000 people in the past few months. The owner thinks the entire eligible community could be protected soon.

"I think the way it's going, I feel like everybody should be vaccinated by end of May or June," he said.

Eligibility expands Monday for Pennsylvanians in phase 1C. That includes many essential workers, utility workers, people in finance and members of the media.

Montgomery County has given out more than 400,000 shots so far.

"We've cycled around at a couple of different locations at our township to try to make it very accessible for residents and the surrounding area to get the vaccine," said Erick Myers, the director of fire services for East Norriton Township.

As access grows, the township says it is focusing on equity too.

"We want to promote the vaccination as something very important and crucial," said Obed Arango, the executive director of the Center for Culture, Art, Training and Education in Montgomery County.

The center partnered with the pharmacy to help get members of the Hispanic community in Montgomery County vaccinated.

"It means to bring elements of equity," said Arango.

While vaccine supply and eligibility are ramping up, Pennsylvania still has a long way to go in getting the population protected. The latest data shows a little less than 20% of people have gotten their shots so far.

Philadelphia is currently vaccinating eligible residents from phases 1a, 1b, and 1c who have signed up on the Philadelphia COVID-19 Vaccine Interest Form.

Starting April 12, the following Philadelphia residents in Phase 1C will be eligible:

-Higher education staff
-Finance: public facing, non-remote positions in the finance industry
-Transportation workers such as airport and train workers and taxi or rideshare drivers
-Construction workers
-IT & telecommunications workers
-Members of the press
-Legal industry
-Public health workers
-People receiving home and community-based services as defined by the PA Dept of Human Services
-Landscaping workers
-Government workers
-Election Board workers
-Social services workers
-Unpaid caregivers of medically vulnerable people
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