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State and local officials push for more vaccinations as kids prepare to head back to school

The state's Department of Education and administrators from the Harrisburg School District met Monday to discuss the importance of vaccinations for children.

HARRISBURG, Pa. — The push for vaccinations is stronger as state and local education officials are preparing for children to return back to school.

"I encourage everyone, who is eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible to do it," said Noe Ortega, Secretary of the Department of Education.

Early Monday afternoon, administrators from the Harrisburg School District and officials from the PA Department of Education met to discuss the heavy role the COVID-19 vaccine plays for a safer return for students.

Ortega said more than 100,000 teachers received the vaccine and school administrators say the trend must continue for all.

"We are anxious to get students back in classrooms and we want to do it in a very, very safe and a very, very appropriate manner," said Janet Samuels, receiver for the Harrisburg School District.

Though the Wolf Administration has made it clear there will be no mask mandate in the near future, schools in the south central state region brought masks back to the discussion.

Officials say they cannot speak for the administration but hope schools align themselves with the recommendations of the CDC.

“We’ve gone back and forth with regards to understanding what the best approach is going to be, what the science is telling us, and what’s already available from a federal sort of guidance in terms of the CDC," said Ortega, "It’s our recommendation that we align ourselves to what’s being done with the CDC.”

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