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Pennsylvania's school vaccination effort is complete. But, should students be mandated to return by September?

Governor Tom Wolf weighed in Friday on whether he'd support a bill to mandate students return to class by September as PA has completed its school staff vaccinations

PENNSYLVANIA, USA — Governor Tom Wolf announced Friday that the initiative to vaccinate teachers and school staff has been completed ahead of schedule. He also weighed in on how he feels about the possibility of mandating districts return in person by September.

"I was on a radio program this morning and the interviewer said that there's a member of the House who is saying that we need to have a bill that mandates that students are back in school by September. How do I feel about that? I'm not sure that anybody disagrees with that and I'm not sure why you'd want to make anybody do that. Let's just allow this to happen and I think that's what this process has been," he said as he called the completed effort to vaccinate school staff a 'great success.'

The Governor and bipartisan COVID-19 vaccine task force announced March 3 that teachers and child care workers would be prioritized for the J&J shot with the goal of completing it by April. The initiative was supported by the PA National Guard and AMI Expeditionary Healthcare along with the state’s 28 intermediate units.

The state received 94,600 doses of the J&J shot in its first batch. That was followed by 26,000 more doses in two separate deliveries. In total that granted the state enough doses to vaccinate all school staff who wanted the vaccine.

“In less than one month, communities across Pennsylvania collaborated around the clock to vaccinate thousands of teachers and school staff; a truly remarkable and heroic effort,” said Acting Secretary of Education Noe Ortega. 

Meantime, on Monday, Gov. Wolf also announced K to 12 schools will receive nearly $5 billion in federal funds to support classroom learning