PHILADELPHIA - Philadelphia officials announced Monday that Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia will assist the Department of Public Health in a new school COVID-19 vaccination program intended to inoculate teachers, principals, and staff at all schools in Philadelphia.
Included in the new program will be staff at all district, charter, independent and parochial schools, as well as at child care centers and pre-K providers.
The vaccination effort, which is expected to begin by the end of February, will also include classroom aides and cafeteria workers.
It will involve a number of locations, including pop-up clinics located at school buildings around the city.
"As we near the one-year anniversary of the pandemic, getting children back into classrooms throughout the city is vitally important to their future," said Mayor Kenney. "I am absolutely thrilled to see Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia stepping up in a major way for our children."
The city will be working with early child care providers, including pre-K providers, to sign up for vaccinations.
The city hopes that this vaccination program will go a long way in easing concerns of teachers who have actively expressed concerns about the safety of returning to the classroom.
Currently, the procedure is still being worked out but schools will be in charge of sending a list of their staff to CHOP to reach out to get vaccinated.
The program is set to begin February 22nd and should take approximately eight weeks according to Dr. Thomas Farley, the Philadelphia Health Commissioner.
"The implementation of a vaccination program for our staff is welcome news to complement the many layers of safety we've already put in place in our school buildings," said William R. Hite, Jr., Ed.D., Superintendent of the School District of Philadelphia. "We are thankful for this initiative that prioritizes our employees, and look forward to supporting the implementation of this plan as we continue with our plan to return our staff and students back to school."
Over the next several months, all Philadelphians will begin to have access to vaccines based on a phased schedule of priority populations.
Currently, the city is in Phase 1B which includes teachers and staff, frontline workers at high risk for exposure who perform essential duties, persons working and residing in congregate settings, persons 75 years and older and persons with high-risk medical conditions.
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