At long last, vaccine for COVID-19 has arrived in Philadelphia.

The long-awaited vaccine is already being distributed in Philadelphia to frontline healthcare workers. These individuals have direct contact with patients, clinical specimens, or interact in the environment of patients.  This places them at high risk for exposure and transmission to our most vulnerable populations.

Over the next several months, all Philadelphians will begin to have access to vaccination based on a phased schedule of priority populations.  The schedule was determined by the City’s COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Committee (VAC), and has been informed by continuing discussions of the City’s Coronavirus Interim Racial Equity Plan.

The tables below illustrate the City’s priority populations for vaccine distribution. Definitions of the populations are linked in the footnotes.

Phase 1a

High Risk for Exposure and Transmission to Vulnerable Populations (Patient-Facing Healthcare Workers 1)

High Risk of Morbidity/Mortality

Hospital staff Long-term care facility residents
COVID testing site
COVID vaccination & lab staff
Long-term care facility staff
Emergency medical services
Home health care
Prison health services
Outpatient clinics, FQHCs
Unaffiliated healthcare providers


Phase 1b

High Risk for Exposure and Perform Essential Duties

High Risk of Morbidity/Mortality

First responders 2 Persons working in congregate residential settings 8
Service providers working with high-risk populations 3 Persons residing in congregate settings 8
Public transit Persons age 75+
Food distribution, prep, or service 4 Persons with high-risk medical conditions 9
Childcare, Education providers 5  
High volume essential retail 6
Manufacturing critical goods 7


Phase 1c

Other Essential Workers but with Lower Risk of Exposure

High Risk of Morbidity/Mortality

Sanitation workers Persons age 65 – 74 years
Maintenance/janitorial workers
Utility workers 10
Postal and package delivery workers
Higher education 11
Finance 12
Transportation 13
IT & Telecommunications
Public health
Legal 14


Phase 2

Everyone > 16 years of age not previously immunized