HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — The Pennsylvania Department of Health says 1.9 million people are fully vaccinated in Pennsylvania.
Starting Monday, more people will be eligible, which is a lot of relief for the clergy and transit workers included in phase 1B who want to feel safe when they interact with the public.
Public transit workers are face to face with the public every day.
It’s likely how CAT bus driver Shawn Wilson caught COVID near the beginning of the pandemic last year.
“I had the feeling of sitting in the hospital room by myself, no family, no friends. It was tough,” Wilson said.
He was able to get a vaccine a few weeks ago, but he’s excited for his colleagues to now be eligible Monday.
“It’s very important again because all day, every day, we work with the public,” Wilson said. “As far as them coming in, we don’t know what they’re bringing in. Nothing against anyone, but it’s the public.”
Clergy will be eligible too, including Zion Lutheran Church Pastor Dave Schreffler.
For now, he live streams services and has tried meeting with parishioners over Zoom.
“A lot of them don’t want to use Zoom or they’re tired of using Zoom, so I have not been able to visit,” Schreffler said. “I started my new call during the pandemic, so I have not really been able to get to see people.”
He’s looking forward to signing up for a shot this week.
“We don’t have the space to do an outside worship, so for us, the vaccination is so important that people will feel very very comfortable coming back to church, being together again,” Schreffler said.
Rabbi Peter Kessler feels the same way with his congregation at Temple Ohev Sholom.
“It’s essential because they miss the physicalness of being with not only the rabbi but with each other,” Kessler said.
People in congregate settings, correctional officers, first responders, U.S. Postal Service workers and manufacturing workers are also in phase 1B.
“When you’re eligible, sign up. Get it done,” Kessler said.
Starting April 12, those in phase 1C will be eligible and on April 19, all adults in Pennsylvania will be eligible to schedule a vaccine appointment.