HARRISBURG – Teachers should be back in the classroom for 100% in-person learning by the end of the month. Governor Tom Wolf shared that comment during Wednesday’s news conference announcing all school teachers and staff will be moving up in the COVID vaccine line.
He says of the state’s 500 school districts, there are about 200,000 people eligible to be vaccinated, with over 124,000 Johnson and Johnson doses being delivered this week, “But we don’t know how many of that 200,000 have already gotten the vaccine. We also don’t know how many of that group might say ‘we don’t want the vaccine.’ So it’s a crude estimate, but that means if it takes one to two weeks, we should have the bulk of our educators be able to go back to work by the end of the month.”
The governor announced Wednesday state Intermediate Units will be reaching out to teachers soon, and Valley superintendents say they have heard from the CSIU and plans are being developed. Vaccinations are scheduled to start as early as next Wednesday through Saturday.
Once all teachers and staff are vaccinated, Governor Wolf says the current guidance on how to conduct learning depending on the spread of the virus in local communities will continue to be decided by school districts, “Most school districts…we still have a few in high risk areas…but the vaccine should make it so regardless of where you are you should be able to do whatever those guidelines suggest you ought to do. The vaccine should give teachers, educators the confidence they can get back into the classroom.”
The governor says using the Johnson and Johnson vaccine makes it easier to administer quickly because it’s a one-shot vaccine with less strict storage requirements.