PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – More people in Pennsylvania, including those in the city of Philadelphia, are now able to get their COVID-19 vaccine. Starting Monday, eligibility is expanding into Phase 1C.
Phase 1C includes:
- Sanitation workers
- Maintenance and janitorial staff
- Utility workers
- Postal and package delivery workers
- 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
But health officials are warning us not to let our guards down just yet.READ MORE: Philadelphia Mother Pleading To Find Driver Who Struck Son In Hit-And-Run, 'Guardian Angel' Who Found Him
“Most importantly in the case of our National Guard personnel that are here, we are Pennsylvanians and some of us are actually from this community,” Pennsylvania National Guard Brig. Gen. Edwards Little said.
A second FEMA-run mass vaccination site is now open in Philadelphia. Nearly 150 National Guard members are on hand at the site at Esperanza Health in Hunting Park to administer vaccines. It’s one of the multiple sites across the state where the National Guard is helping out.
“We’ve administered approximately 15,000 shots and facilitated nearly 250,000 more, including Pennsylvania teachers and support staff,” Brig. Gen. Edwards Little said.READ MORE: Philadelphia's Evil Genius Beer Company Giving Out Free Beers To Those Getting Vaccinated In May
And the job becomes harder as more Pennsylvanians are eligible for a vaccine on Monday. Group 1C includes government workers, people in construction, people working in legal services, and transportation. This applies to everyone in Pennsylvania, not just Philadelphia.
“It’s quick, it’s easy, and with COVID rates rising, if you do come here it just may save a life,” Philadelphia Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley said.
Just Sunday, over 3,000 people in Pennsylvania were diagnosed. Compare that to early March and it was just over 1,000 cases. However, that is far less than the peak in December, when nearly 13,000 people were diagnosed. But with more people now eligible, there could be a vaccine shortage. CBS News is reporting the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be less readily available in the immediate future because of a contamination issue. But health officials say the sooner we’re all vaccinated the sooner life will return to normal.
“We need every Philadelphian to do that so we can get back to business the way we normally do, root for the teams we love in stadiums that are full, eat in restaurants that we want to eat in and be able to participate in the family life that we had in the past,” President & CEO Esperanza Rev. Luis Cortes said.MORE NEWS: Friday Night In New Jersey Looks Like Something Out Of 2019 As Restrictions Eased
Next Monday, on April 19 everyone 16 and older will be eligible for the vaccine. However, health officials are warning that just because you’re eligible doesn’t mean you’ll be able to get an appointment right away.