Pennsylvania’s coronavirus vaccine supply and distribution will ramp up so much that there won’t be waiting lists by May 1, Gov. Tom Wolf announced Friday, and all Pennsylvanians currently eligible for the coronavirus vaccine will be able to make appointments by the end of March.

That means Pennsylvania expects about 3.6 million people to have been inoculated or made appointments within the next two and a half weeks. It also means everyone in phase 1A, the current eligibility group, should have a chance to get vaccinated before May 1, the date President Joe Biden said Thursday all adults will become eligible.

“To the extent we can, the appointments are going to be scheduled by the end of March. ... Every single one,” Wolf said at a news conference, adding, “I’m very confident.”

It was not clear Friday, however, how the state will ensure that people can get the appointments. And officials in Delaware, Montgomery, Bucks, and Chester Counties said they had not yet heard how many doses would come to them beginning March 22, something Wolf said providers should already know, meaning they did not yet know how many appointments they could schedule.

But if the state can achieve its new goals, it would represent a major turnaround for Pennsylvania residents, who have often struggled to find appointments using the state’s patchwork system amid vaccine scarcity, though the vaccination pace has increased significantly in recent days.

“There are many questions that require answers, and quickly, if we are to accurately schedule appointments for everyone in Phase 1A by [March 28],” the Chester County Commissioners said in a statement. “If the state does, in fact, send us greater supply, we are definitely prepared to open additional sites.”

Pennsylvania officials unveiled the plans, which were crafted by a bipartisan state task force that was formed in February, the day after Biden’s announcement that he would direct states to allow all adults to sign up for the vaccine by May 1 and hoped many Americans would be vaccinated and able to safely gather with friends by the Fourth of July. With the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccines coming, Philadelphia and New Jersey estimated having a majority of residents vaccinated by then.

New Jersey officials said they were prepared for Biden’s announcement. State health officials and Gov. Phil Murphy had already indicated a goal of opening up eligibility to the general public by May and said 70% of the state’s adult population — about 4.7 million people — could be vaccinated by the end of May or June.

Philadelphia Health Commissioner Thomas Farley said the president’s plan would accelerate the city’s eligibility timeline by about a month. (The city distributes vaccine separately from the state.) He was hopeful about 800,000 of the city’s roughly 1.2 million adults could be vaccinated by July 4, saying about three-quarters of adults want the vaccine.

“It’s really great to see federal leadership on this,” he said, “and we are absolutely going to be in sync.”

» READ MORE: Biden sets July 4 as a ‘goal’ for a return of small gatherings, May 1 to have all adults vaccine-eligible

Both the state and national plans represented confidence in the U.S.’s growing vaccine supply. The goals for the spring also align with a long-anticipated increase in the number of doses the country has available to distribute to the states.

“I don’t think [Biden] would do that if he wasn’t pretty sure if he could meet that,” said Larry Ward, president of the Pennsylvania chapter of the American College of Physicians. “The whole [Biden] strategy so far has been a little bit of under-promise and over-deliver, so I think if he is doing that it gives me, actually, great confidence that he feels we have the vaccine supply to meet that.”

Pennsylvania’s plan

With the state set to get 200,000 Johnson & Johnson doses weekly beginning March 28, Pennsylvania counties and health departments will be able to run regional vaccination clinics. That’s good news for officials in the region who have sparred with the Wolf administration over southeastern counties’ vaccine supply in recent days.

Fueled by the J&J vaccines, the state will also start vaccinating various groups of front-line workers, including grocery store workers, food processing workers, and firefighters in April, Wolf announced.

Friday’s announcement was the Wolf administration’s most forceful attempt yet to redirect the vaccine rollout and respond to criticism that has dogged the process since it began in December.

» READ MORE: Pa. seniors are ‘at their wit’s ends’ trying to get coronavirus vaccines

Saying more than he has for weeks about the effort, the governor projected confidence and proclaimed that Pennsylvania, whose vaccination metrics have lagged behind many other states, was “within striking distance of the finish line.” Acting Health Secretary Alison Beam did not appear at the virtual news conference.

The state is set to get up to 22 million doses per week by the end of March, compared to about 5 million a week in mid-January, Wolf said. There are 4.5 million residents eligible in phase 1A, of whom officials estimate about 80% will want to be vaccinated, and about 10 million adults in the state in total.

Beam was set to sign an order Friday requiring vaccine providers to “make best efforts” to schedule all eligible people, including seniors 65 and older and those with high-risk conditions, by March 28, the governor said.

“President Biden laid out a really bold plan for the country,” Wolf said. “We are making all kinds of efforts and taking aggressive steps to meet that timeline.”

Friday’s developments capped a week of contention over vaccine supply between the Department of Health and officials in Philadelphia’s collar counties — which have received the fewest number of shots per capita.

“We are pleased the state health department listened to our concerns and acted to create new vaccine sites run through our counties and local health departments,” Southeast House and Senate Republican lawmakers said in a statement. “But we remain committed to making sure the state follows through and the Southeast gets its fair share of the vaccines.”

The Chester County commissioners said they were pleased with the latest national and state developments, but said the increase in vaccine pace already measured statewide had not yet been felt in their county.

Monica Taylor, vice chair of Delaware County Council, said that with adequate supply, the county’s vaccine sites could administer as many as 25,000 total doses per week.

“I’m happy that the governor has a plan,” she said. “And that he and the state Department of Health are working to get more vaccines and get through 1A.”

Delaware County did receive more vaccines this week — enough to schedule a pop-up clinic for 1,500 people this weekend, said Democratic State Rep. Mike Zabel.

Work to do

Biden’s moves set dates for the public to look forward to and his plan includes a website and hotline to find vaccine providers.

“It’s incredibly helpful for people’s mindsets. I think it’s leveling with them and giving them an idea,” said Ward, the physician.

At a clinic set up for Philadelphia’s immigrant community on Friday, people signing up for appointments expressed relief and excitement about Biden’s plan.

“Since he became our president, I’m more relaxed — like a weight lifted,” said Kadiatou Bah, a home health aide who has lived in South Philadelphia for 20 years. “Everything Biden has said — I can see that he’s done it.”

» READ MORE: In N.J.’s long-term care facilities, only half of staff have gotten vaccinated. Pa. won’t release its numbers.

Some are hoping the provider network will also be expanded. Primary care doctors are impatient to get the green light to inoculate patients, arguing they can best reach those who are hesitant to get the vaccine. Doctors and organizers are also concerned about prioritizing vulnerable populations.

“We’re hoping to continue to work with the city to really reach out to folks who may not be reached by traditional mechanisms and get them vaccinated,” said Gretchen Shanfeld, senior director of operations for the Nationalities Service Center.

Farley said the city would work on such outreach efforts. He also said it was “welcome news” that the Biden administration would increase federal staff available to administer vaccines, while also expanding the list of providers authorized to give them.

But he noted that while everyone will be able to seek shots on May 1, most won’t be vaccinated that soon.

“It will be a wait for people to get vaccinated,” he said, “but we hope to get through as many people as possible to get to that point.”

Staff writers Aubrey Whelan and Allison Steele contributed to this article.