COVID-19 vaccine eligibility expands in Pa., NJ

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine in Pennsylvania and New Jersey is expanded to include a lot more people on Monday. The expansion will make it possible for many essential workers, who had been waiting, to sign up for an appointment.

Philadelphia, which is on a schedule separate from the rest of the state, moves into its 1c category on Monday, but only four specific groups of workers within that category will be eligible at first: sanitation workers, maintenance and janitorial staff, utility workers, and postal and package delivery employees. The rest of 1c in the city will be made eligible in the coming weeks.

The rest of Pennsylvania moves into the state’s Phase 1b. It includes those in manufacturing, the postal service, public transportation, manufacturing, jails and prisons and rehab facilities, and clergy members and support staff for places of worship.

Grocery store workers, people who work in food and agriculture, and first responders are also part of this phase. They were already given priority and made eligible last week.

In New Jersey, everyone 55 and older is now eligible. So are people age 16 and above with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Groups of essential workers that are eligible now include communications, IT and members of the media. People who work in real estate, building and home services, laundry services, banking, sanitation, utilities, higher education and libraries may also schedule appointments.

Delaware will expand eligibility to residents ages 16 and above on Tuesday.

Philadelphia, the rest of Pennsylvania and New Jersey will expand eligibility even more in the coming weeks. In the meantime, officials encourage anyone who has been eligible already, especially those who are at high-risk, to register for an appointment before that expansion happens.