HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — On Wednesday Governor Wolf announced a plan to vaccinate Pennsylvania teachers and school staff as soon as possible.
The state will be setting the Johnson and Johnson vaccine aside to prioritize educators and set up vaccination sites specifically for them.
Central Dauphin School District teacher Michael Williams says this move is long overdue, but now that it’s finally happening they’re excited.
“It’s a moment we’ve all been waiting for,” Williams said.
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“We want to keep staff and students safer in schools and we want to help get students back into the classroom faster by doing it this way than any way we could conceive,” Governor Wolf said.
The Central Dauphin School District already sent students back to in person learning.
But with the vaccine, Williams says he’ll feel a bit safer in the classroom.
“I just think it’s going to be like a piece of mind and like a little extra layer of insurance policy,” Williams said. “We’re wearing the masks, we’re distancing as much as possible, but the vaccine will help to prevent the transmission and the spread.”
Governor Wolf hopes this move helps all Pennsylvania teachers feel better back at school.
“The vaccine should just give educators that last ounce of confidence that they can in fact go back into the classroom and be safe,” Wolf said.
While Williams wishes it had happened earlier, he says armed with the vaccine he’ll definitely feel more prepared in this fight against the pandemic.
“It really has been a long time coming,” Williams said. “I wish we would have been up a little bit higher up on the list. I think it would have made everyone more comfortable returning to school, but I’m happy that it’s our turn now.”
Governor Wolf says because they’re using Johnson and Johnson for teachers and school staff, it won’t impact the rest of the people eligible in Phase 1A. In fact, he says because Pennsylvania is expecting more shipments of Moderna and Pfizer soon, others could see more available appointments.