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Vaccinate NEPA: Luzerne County Intermediate Unit to begin vaccinating teachers, school staff

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KINGSTON, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — This is the week the Wolf administration has designated for teachers and school staff to begin receiving the Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine.

The state’s intermediate units will serve as clinics for those vaccinations.

The first of two portable refrigerators arrived Tuesday morning at Luzerne Intermediate Unit 18. It will be used to store thousands of doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to administer to teachers and school staff from Luzerne and Wyoming Counties.

“You know, the demand has been pretty brisk. We’re looking at doing about 2,500 vaccinations in the first round,” Luzerne Intermediate Unit 18 Executive Director Anthony Grieco said.

That first round at this facility is scheduled this Friday from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. Vaccinations will be given daily through Tuesday with even longer weekend hours from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. The Department of Health determined who gets the single dose vaccine in the first round.

“The state has broken down a priority list of elementary teachers, pre-K teachers, Special Ed teachers, ELL teachers and all other personnel that service those student groups as a first priority,” Grieco said.

The building’s third floor will be transformed into six shot stations and two observation rooms. Pennsylvania Department of Health, AMI Expeditionary Healthcare and the Pennsylvania Army National Guard will all play a part in the LIU clinic.

“It’s been a lot of logistics but the work is worth the benefit of getting everyone vaccinated,” Grieco said.

Dr. Grieco says he appreciates the opportunity for LIU to have such a significant role in the vaccination process.

“We know that teachers are most effective when they’re with their students and we feel good about being able to accelerate the process of returning students back to school on a more regular and sustainable basis,” Grieco said.

Again, the first round of the school personnel vaccination clinic at LIU is this Friday through Tuesday. The second round to complete the shots for other school staff is expected in two to three weeks.

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