– House Education Committee Chairmen Rep. Curt Sonney (R-Erie) and Rep. Mark Longietti (D-Mercer), joined by 15 other members of the House Education Committee, on Thursday sent a letter
to Gov. Tom Wolf and Acting Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Health Alison Beam requesting teachers be offered the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as the Commonwealth exits the 1A phase of Pennsylvania’s vaccine plan.
The bipartisan group believes prioritizing teachers before the next phase begins will allow schools to reopen more quickly.
“While I understand the health concerns of teachers, we need to get our students back in the classroom full time,” Sonney said. “The vaccine is rolling out very slowly and at this rate some teachers may not be eligible to receive the vaccine until this summer. Two days of hearings this week show that all parties recognize the toll COVID-19 is taking both academically and emotionally on our children. Time is of the essence.”
“Prioritizing school personnel for vaccination will allow more schools to safely reopen during this school year,” Longietti said. “Twenty-six other states have taken this step because they recognize what we all know; there is no substitute to in-person instruction. Pennsylvania needs to join those states for the benefit of our students, families and school employees.”