PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — All Philadelphians ages 16 and older will be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine later this month. The city announced Tuesday it would move to Phase 2 of its vaccination rollout on April 19, in accordance with President Joe Biden’s directive.
With all states having opened eligibility to the public or at least having announced when they plan to do so, Biden will announce that every adult in the country will be eligible to be vaccinated by April 19, according to an administration official, instead of Biden’s original deadline of May 1.READ MORE: Mayor Kenney Provides Next Steps In Investigation Over Mishandling Of 1985 MOVE Victims' Remains
Initially, Philadelphia was going to open the vaccine to all residents 16 and older beginning May 1.
While coronavirus vaccine distribution is ramping up significantly all over the Philadelphia region, so are infections. The surge in cases is happening mainly among younger people who haven’t been vaccinated.
Most cases are related to the variants and more people are interacting and not taking precautions.
“Those numbers have roughly doubled in the past six weeks. While they’ve occurred in the entire population, the increases have been greater in younger adults, say people ages 20-54,” Philadelphia Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley said.
Because of that, Philadelphia will not follow the state in easing restrictions.
Health officials announced 700 additional coronavirus cases on Tuesday, bringing the citywide total to 126,759.
Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley cautioned Tuesday that not everyone who is eligible will be able to get vaccinated right away due to a limited supply of the vaccine. He is recommending everyone over age 65 get vaccinated as quickly as possible.READ MORE: Police Searching For Shooter After Man Gunned Down While Driving In Trenton
“I do worry that young people will get in, and it may be harder for people over the age of 65 to get in, which is why I’m asking all the sites to set a priority for people over the age 65 and asking younger people maybe you should wait a little bit,” Farley said.
Philadelphia will now also align with the state’s vaccine timetable, moving to phase 1C on April 12. Those who will be eligible for the vaccine beginning April 12 include people receiving home and community-based services as defined by the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, unpaid caregivers of medically vulnerable people, landscaping, government, elections, and social services workers.
“This week, Pennsylvania is receiving 442,310 first doses of vaccine from the federal government. That is the highestly weekly allocation,” Department of Health Senior Advisor on COVID-19 Response Lindsey Mauldin said.
State health officials say the southeastern part of the state would be getting extra doses this week to make up for disparity.
“We’re thrilled, we appreciate the partnership with the state and we’re happy to have more vaccines,” Delaware County Councilwoman Elaine Paul Schaefer said.
Councilmember Elaine Paul Schaefer says Delaware County will be getting an extra 21,000 doses. She’s relieved, but also concerned about increased cases of COVID-19.
“We’re all so excited to get vaccinated,” Schaefer said. “We’re excited to open up again, but the virus has not gone away and all this excitement and activity in opening up well it’s leading to more cases.”MORE NEWS: Philadelphia Police: Man Stabbed Multiple Times At Detention Center In Holmesburg
The CDC also announced Tuesday that Pennsylvania would get more than $100 million to enhance vaccine programs and Philadelphia would receive an additional $14.3 million.