In Pennsylvania, teachers now have hope to receive the newly approved Johnson and Johnson vaccine. Pennsylvania will receive 124,000 doses of this vaccine. These vaccines will be available in the next week with our teachers being prioritized to receive the initial doses. There are approximately 200,000 teachers and school employees who will receive these vaccinations with the intent to have all school staff in the state to be vaccinated by mid-April.
Additionally, Pennsylvania will receive thousands of vaccines from both Moderna and Pfizer as well as another 4 million from Johnson and Johnson within the next month. This is exciting news for our schools and Pennsylvania residents which will lead us to a faster reopening of schools. I mentioned in one of my other posts that I believed we would be able to successfully and safely open live attendance at schools when we could vaccinate our school staff members. This timeline has moved forward substantially.
One barricade to vaccinations is how we will find enough staff and support to vaccinate our citizens. This also has been addressed by Governor Tom Wolf and the PA Legislature. The Pennsylvania National Guard has been implemented into the state’s coronavirus vaccine strategy, thanks to a new bill signed into law Wednesday.
House Bill 326 permits the National Guard to be mobilized to assist at mass vaccination sites, once enough vaccine becomes available to open them. The bill has been pushed by state legislators from both sides of the aisle in recent weeks.
Upon signing this bill Governor Wolf stated, “This service will help further expedite getting the vaccine to Pennsylvanians across the state.”
The Pennsylvania regional Intermediate Units will be designating the sites for the vaccines to be delivered to school staff in each of their regions. School staff will be notified as to how to register for appointments.
I believe this is a great leap forward in support for teachers and schools. I appreciate the fact that we now have 3 active vaccines and that teachers and schools have been prioritized so that we can reopen our schools, bring safety to our teachers, alleviate stress on families and restart our progress with students back in live school. This will be a great growth step towards normalcy in our state, our schools and our families. Kudos to our state leadership!