Pennsylvania teachers are now eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccinations under an expansion of the Commonwealth’s immunization plan in order to return more students to classrooms for in-person instruction, according to Senator Pat Stefano (R-32).
The plan announced today includes an expectation that teachers return to the classroom and provide in-person instruction upon receiving or being offered the vaccine.
Under the plan unveiled by Governor Tom Wolf and the Joint Task Force, public and private school teachers will receive the new single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine under their own separate program. Teachers will not receive priority status, nor will they receive vaccinations ahead of those in Class 1A.
“It is critical to get more students back into the classroom and keep those schools open, and to do so safely,” Stefano said. “The constant disruptions children face every time there is an exposure in school creates a growing education deficit. Vaccinating teachers and childcare workers, while continuing to ensure vaccinations for high-risk citizens, is a crucial step forward for children and families.”
The Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency and the departments of Education and Health are partnering with the 28 Intermediate Units (IUs) to establish vaccine sites where the Pennsylvania National Guard and AMI Expeditionary Healthcare will help administer the vaccine.
The National Guard’s utilization comes after the Senate passed House Bill 326, which required that the National Guard be implemented into the distribution and administration of the COVID-19 vaccinations. This legislation was advanced from the Senate Veterans Affairs & Emergency Preparedness Committee, chaired by Senator Stefano.
Senior citizens and those with pre-existing medical conditions will continue to be prioritized for Pfizer and Moderna vaccines under a revised distribution plan that emphasizes the over-65 population, infection rate, and COVID death rate.
“This is an important step to return Pennsylvania to normalcy,” Stefano said. “As more vaccinations are administered, I am hopeful the Governor will continue to work with the legislature and the COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force to reopen our remaining businesses and industries.”
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