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April 14, 2021

Pennsylvania expands COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to everyone 16 and older beginning Tuesday

The change does not affect Philadelphia, which will start inoculating all residents on Monday, April 19

All Pennsylvania residents at least 16 years old are eligible to receive the coronavirus vaccine as of Tuesday.

The state is accelerating its timeline for COVID-19 vaccine eligibility. Pennsylvania originally had planned to allow all residents who want the vaccine to start scheduling appointments on April 19.

The change does not affect Philadelphia, which has operated on a separate timeline than the rest of the state during the vaccine rollout. All city residents at least 16 years old can begin making vaccine appointments starting April 19.

Pennsylvania moving up its date is due to the state's supply of the vaccine, and it comes during an uptick in coronavirus infections and hospitalizations across the state.

"This further-accelerated plan will move us much closer to the goal of vaccinating Pennsylvanians as quickly and equitably as possible," Gov. Tom Wolf said.

The state reported 6,450 additional COVID-19 cases and 2,474 coronavirus-related hospitalizations on Monday

Two weeks ago, Pennsylvania was among of five states accounting for 44% of recent COVID-19 infections. Pennsylvania had 29,847 people test positive for the coronavirus between March 29 and April 4, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

The state has administered more than 6.4 million COVID-19 vaccine doses since December, with over 2.4 million residents being fully vaccinated.

Pennsylvania had been inoculating people included in phases 1A, 1B and 1C of the state's distribution plan until now. The expansion of the eligibility represents a move to phase 2.

New Jersey expands its COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to include everyone 16 and older starting Monday.

President Joe Biden urged all states last week to make COVID-19 vaccines available to all adults starting April 19.

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