Teachers and School Staff Will be First to Get the J&J Vaccine

Gov. Wolf hopes that by making teachers eligible for the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, schools will be reopen soon.
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Teachers and other school staff in the Commonwealth have moved to the front of the line for the newly-released COVID-19 vaccine by Johnson & Johnson.

Gov. Tom Wolf announced Wednesday that those who work with pre-K and elementary students, students with disabilities, English-learner students and other at-risk groups of children will be given priority in making appointments.

“This new single-dose vaccine adds another layer of support to get students and teachers back in the classroom,” Wolf says. “Teachers and staff who work with our children will be vaccinated, and I commend the task force and all of our partners for their tremendous commitment to their schools and communities.”

The Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last weekend authorized the Johnson & Johnson vaccine for emergency use. Pennsylvania will receive 94,600 doses this week.

To quickly get the vaccine into educators’ arms, the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency and the departments of Education and Health are partnering with the 28 Intermediate Units (IUs) to establish vaccine sites. Each IU region will have at least one vaccination location with most starting vaccinations between March 10 and 13. Eligible school staff will receive registration instructions.

Pennsylvania is in phase 1A of its vaccination plan, which includes health care workers, long-term care residents, those aged 65 and older and anyone 16 to 64 with certain health conditions. Until today, teachers and other essential workers had been in the phase 1B group.  There is no timetable for moving to the next vaccination phase.

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