HARRISBURG, Pa. — The Department of Health (DOH) and the Department of Education, along with the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA), have provided additional information on the COVID-19 vaccine for Pre-K-12 teachers and other school staff.
The three entities announced on March 4 that the Wolf Administration is partnering with Intermediate Units (IUs) and other education partners to distribute vaccines to all school employees.
“The approval of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine provides a great opportunity to launch this special initiative to vaccinate all teachers, child care workers and school staff without interrupting the flow of vaccine local providers have already administered to more than 1.8 million Pennsylvanians,” Acting Secretary of Health Alison Beam said.
Additonally, Pre-K to 12 public and non-public school staff across the commonwealth will be given the opportunity to receive the vaccine. Those who work with elementary students, students with disabilities, and English Learners will be the first eligible to register for the shot.
The state expects to receive 94,600 doses of the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine this week. Once received, the vaccines will be distributed to each IU "based on the proportion of Pre-K to 12 public and non-public school employees and contracted staff in each IU's region." Child care workers will be contacted by one of the local partners that is distributing the vaccine: Rite Aid, Topco, or Walmart.
According to a press release, there will be at least one vaccination site per IU unit. School staff will then be directed to the vaccination site in the region their employer is located. Vaccination sites are expected to open between March 10 and 13 during "daily operational hours."
“We anticipate that the majority of these sites will support up to 500 doses a day, with some of the sites in IU’s with higher amounts of teachers and support staff being able to administer up to 1,000 doses a day,” PEMA Director Randy Padfield said. “We anticipate most sites will be completed administering the first round of available vaccine in 8-10 days.”