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March 10, 2021

Philly expands COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to residents age 65 and up

The Philadelphia Department of Public Health has revised its COVID-19 vaccine eligibility guidelines to include seniors ages 65 and older in Phase 1B, officials announced Wednesday.

The city's previous guidelines only included seniors 75 years and older — though a younger seniors with high-risk medical conditions also were eligible. 

Philadelphia's criteria differed from those in the suburbs, where people over 65 had already been eligible to receive a vaccine. The different eligibility requirements are due to the city running a rollout that is separate from the rest of Pennsylvania. 

The new guidelines come as the city's vaccine supply is bolstered by the FEMA clinic at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, where as many as 6,000 immunizations are taking place each day.

Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley said Tuesday that Philadelphia has nearly doubled weekly vaccinations since the FEMA clinic opened earlier this month.

Philadelphia residents 65 and older are encouraged to register on the city's vaccine interest form or call 3-1-1 to get on a priority list for appointments.

All of Philadelphia's vaccine clinics are by appointment only, with the exception of walk-up clinics led by the Black Doctors COVID Consortium, whose immunizations are reserved for eligible residents in hard-hit ZIP codes.

Those who are eligible and have registered with the city should hear back from health department about scheduling an appointment for their first shot in the coming days and weeks.

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