Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Leving dropped a bombshell. The State of Pennsylvania does not have any plans to require anyone to take a COVID-19 vaccine, including public schools.
We spoke with school officials and got their take on the announcement.
Secretary of Health Dr. Levine said that the state could have a COVID-19 vaccine within the upcoming months. That is if federal approval stays on path.
The question is however, who will be required to get it? As of now, no one.
As public schools across the commonwealth continue to transition on to remote learning due to COVID-19 surges, Secretary of Health Dr. Levine said that the state will not mandate the vaccine for students.
Erie Public School’s believes that the secretary of health’s announcement has little to no direction.
It’s too early to determine how the Pennsylvania Department of Health is currently planning to make COVID-19 vaccines optional for students and how it may affect Erie’s Public Schools.
General McLane’s Superintendent agreed saying that there is much to be discussed.
“From what I’ve heard, I’m not sure the vaccine is going to be ready for younger kids. There tends to be more testing and a longer time needed for to ensure that first of all,” said Richard Scaletta, Superintendent of General McLane School District.
Scaletta added that he would like to see his staff vaccinated.
“All of our people are on the front line, not as much so as healthcare providers, but I think they should be early on because of the number of people they come into contact with,” said Scaletta.
Erie’s Public Schools said that they will continue to seek advice from state and local agencies while moving forward. The school District released the following statement:
“Including the Pennsylvania Department of Education and the Erie County Department of Health regarding COVID-19 and the development and distribution of any vaccines that may be available to our staff and students in the near future.”
As we’ve reported when the vaccine is made available it will be distributed in three phases starting with healthcare workers and first responders.