Philadelphia to make all residents 16+ eligible for COVID-19 vaccine on April 19

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Philadelphia health officials announced Tuesday that all residents aged 16 and older will be eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine on April 19.

Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley said all groups within Phase 1c will become fully eligible to be vaccinated on Monday, April 12.

Phase 1c began April 5, but is currently open to four groups, including sanitation workers, maintenance and janitorial staff, utility workers and postal and package delivery workers.

EMBED More News Videos

Dr. Farley says all Philadelphians over 16 years old will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine on April 19.

The additional groups will be added on April 12:

- People receiving home and community-based services as defined by the PA Dept of Human Services
- Landscaping workers
- Government workers
- Elections workers

- Social services workers
- Unpaid caregivers of medically vulnerable people
- 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

Individuals in groups that were categorized in Phases 1a and 1b also remain eligible to receive vaccinations.

Philadelphia's announcement put the city in line with the state as Gov. Tom Wolf previously announced all adults in the state would be eligible to receive a vaccine by April 19.

Philly opens new mass COVID-19 vaccination site

This week, the city will open a second FEMA-run mass vaccination site at Esperanza.

Congressman Brendan Boyle, Dr. Farley and Esperanza leaders toured the site on Tuesday and spoke of its significance to the community.

"It is in the heart of North Philadelphia where so many of our fellow Philadelphians who are Hispanic and African-American live," said Boyle.

"We created it to hold a lot of people daily. We are going to work with the city and the city is working with us to get the word out," said Esperanza CEO and founder Reverend Luis Cortez.

Once fully operational, the site will be able to do about 2,500 vaccines per day.

In comparison, the Pennsylvania Convention Center site has had the capacity to vaccinate up 6,000 people daily.

The new site is a big morale booster in the community, especially for business owners like Maribel Castro owner of Bristol Auto Sports.

Castro said the site provides comfort in the community where a language barrier and factual information can be lacking.

"They're a little scared because they don't have the correct information, but being that it's done in a Spanish community, they'll be able to comprehend what it is exactly that they'll be receiving," Castro said.

The site will be a mixture of walkups and appointments, some of which can be made through the city's 311 service.
Copyright © 2021 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.