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Philadelphia Children’s Hospital will help the city health department deliver COVID-19 vaccines to teachers and school staff.
City officials announced the partnership between CHOP and the Ministry of Health on Monday. Vaccination efforts will begin in late February and will take place in pop-up clinics in school buildings across Philadelphia, according to the city news release. Teachers and staff from district, charter, parish, and independent schools are involved in vaccination.
Day care centers and pre-K providers as well as class assistants and cafeteria staff are also included.
Last month, Philadelphia District Superintendent William Hite Jr. announced that early K through Second Grade students will be able to return to face-to-face teaching two days a week starting February 22. Currently only students whose families have enrolled Fall personal lessons may return.
Some educators have raised concerns about returning to face-to-face classes without access to the vaccine. Teachers should report to schools on Monday to prepare for the reopening. However, the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, a Philadelphia educators union, ordered union teachers to stay home over concerns that county buildings would be unsafe.
The district eventually overturned its decision that teachers should report objections to schools on Monday.
Mayor Jim Kenney expressed hope that the partnership between CHOP and the city health department will accelerate the return to face-to-face learning for district students.
« This vaccination program will go a long way toward addressing teachers’ concerns. » Kenney wrote in the press release. « It is imperative that our children return to learning in person, and every Philadelphian should be grateful that CHOP can contribute their resources and expertise to this crucial endeavor. »
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