HARRISBURG, DAUPHIN COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — Pennsylvania teachers and other school employees should begin getting COVID vaccinations as early as next Wednesday.
That’s the word Thursday from Harrisburg as officials provided more information about the state’s latest vaccination plan.
Those shots will be administered at dozens of clinics. State officials pointed out this initiative is separate from the ongoing Phase 1-A COVID vaccination rollout and detailed how it will work.
At a Thursday morning media briefing, Pennsylvania’s acting health secretary was quick to emphasize what’s at stake concerning the Commonwealth’s newest vaccination effort.
“Vaccinating teachers and education staff is essential as we work to get students back into the classroom in a safe and quick manner,” Acting Secretary, PA Department of Health Alison Beam said.
The plan is to set up at least one vaccine clinic in each of Pennsylvania’s 28 regional Intermediate Units between March 10 and 13. Primary school educators will get the shots first.
“This special vaccination initiative will begin with those teaching and working in Pre-K and elementary grades, with students with disabilities, with English as a Second Language learners and with other vulnerable students,” Beam said.
School workers will receive instructions from their employer on how to get the shot. The plan is different for child care workers. Those in northeastern and central Pennsylvania will get their COVID vaccinations through a participating Rite-Aid or Walmart.
“Child care workers will be contacted by the retail pharmacy providers in their communities to coordinate their vaccinations,” Beam said.
Ever since in-person learning was first disrupted last March by the pandemic, the state education department says the goal was to get students safely and as quickly back to the services, programs and supports they need to grow.
“After an unprecedented year of shifts and turns and tensions, this vaccine will help students and teachers across Pennsylvania return where they want and need to be,” said Noe Ortega, Acting Secretary, PA Department of Education.
The first shots should be going into the arms of teachers and other school employees as early as next Wednesday. Child care workers are getting notified as early as today about their COVID vaccine opportunity.
Pennsylvania should receive nearly 95,000 doses of Johnson and Johnson’s vaccine by the end of this week. That’s separate from 30,000 doses a federal program is providing retail pharmacies to administer to child care workers.