HARRISBURG – Public and Private school teachers and various other school staff are moving up in the COVID-19 vaccine line.
Governor Tom Wolf and the COVID-19 Joint Task Force made that announcement during a news conference Wednesday, “That’s everybody; teachers, bus drivers, staff, cafeteria staff, janitors, management, so we can get our children back into classrooms as soon as possible.”
The governor says the state will be using its new allocation of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine to administer to educators and vaccinations will start between Wednesday and Saturday, “The Intermediate Units (IUs) will be reaching out to them (teachers). The (Pennsylvania) National Guard will manage the security and the logistics aspects of making sure shots are getting into arms.”
Each IU region will have at least one vaccine. The governor says 94,000 Johnson and Johnson doses are being sent to the state directly this week and another 30,000 are being sent to the state’s federal pharmacy partners.
Governor Wolf says initial priority is vaccinating school staff with regular and sustained in-person contact with students during the regular school day, “We are prioritizing teachers and staff who work with Pre-K, and elementary students, students with disabilities, students with English as a second language, and teachers of other vulnerable students in the first round of vaccines.”
The state is also working with its retail pharmacy partners to vaccinate all early childhood education workers as well. That includes those not associated with an IU and child care workers providing an essential service to working families. The governor says this initiative will continue until all educators have had an opportunity to receive the vaccine, but the vaccine is voluntary.