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COVID-19 Vaccine for Pre-K to 12 School Staff

This page was created on March 3, 2021.

The single-dose Johnson & Johnson (J&J) COVID-19 vaccine received FDA emergency use authorization (EUA) on February 27. Pre-K to 12 public and non-public school teachers, administrators, bus drivers, and other school support and contracted staff will be among the first to receive the J&J vaccine in Pennsylvania.

The Departments of Education (PDE) and Health (DOH) and the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) are collaborating with Intermediate Units (IUs) and other education partners to equitably vaccinate all school employees and contracted staff as quickly as possible.

Pre-K to 12 public and non-public school staff across Pennsylvania will be provided an opportunity to be vaccinated, with priority given to school staff who have regular and sustained in-person contact with students during the regular school day. When the J&J vaccine is available, educators and school staff working with elementary education students, students with disabilities, and English Learners will be the first eligible to register.

*As noted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in its recently updated guidance, access to vaccination should not be considered a condition for reopening schools for in-person instruction. Even after teachers and staff are vaccinated, schools need to continue to implement mitigation strategies, including face coverings and physical distancing.

Allocations

Pennsylvania expects to receive an initial allocation of 94,600 doses of the J&J vaccine.* Allocation estimates will be updated as supply information from the federal government becomes available.

Allocations received by Pennsylvania from the federal government 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.

*Philadelphia is not included in these allocations. Philadelphia County is a separate vaccine jurisdiction and has their own information about vaccine distribution.

Vaccination Sites

There will be at least one vaccination site per IU region. School staff will be directed to the vaccination site in the region within which their school is located. The Pennsylvania National Guard and AMI, a health organization contracted by DOH, will direct operations and administer doses at these sites. Each vaccination site is expected to begin operations between March 10-13, 2021. Operational hours will generally be between 12pm-8pm Sunday-Friday and 8am-4pm on Saturday.

Prioritization, Registration, and Scheduling

IUs will work with Pre-K to 12 school entities to identify staff that are eligible and interested in receiving the vaccine. The following individuals will be given the first opportunity to register:

    • Pre-K-12 teachers of students with disabilities and English learners and related in-classroom support staff;
    • Elementary teachers and related in-classroom support staff, beginning with the youngest students;
    • Bus drivers/transporters, and support staff and contracted service providers who have direct contact with elementary students; and
    • Other priority school staff who have regular, sustained in-person contact with students during the school day.

Generally speaking, each school entity will have a designated block of time as determined by the IU during which their employees and contracted staff will be able to select appointment slots. School staff will receive additional information about the registration and scheduling process directly from their employer or IU.