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Pa. teachers to get access to Johnson & Johnson shots

Teachers will not be made eligible for Moderna or Pfizer vaccines.

By Brett Sholtis

A health care worker holds a vial of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine at Klerksdorp Hospital in Klerksdorp, South Africa, on Feb. 18.

Phill Magakoe / AFP via Getty Images

A health care worker holds a vial of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine at Klerksdorp Hospital in Klerksdorp, South Africa, on Feb. 18.

(Harrisburg) — Teachers in Pennsylvania will have access to the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, state officials confirmed Tuesday evening.

“Tomorrow, Governor Tom Wolf and the COVID-19 Vaccine Joint Task Force will announce a plan to help protect school communities and get more students back into classrooms by vaccinating teachers and other school staff,” Wolf’s office said. “Using Pennsylvania’s allocation of the newly-approved Johnson & Johnson vaccine, Pennsylvania will vaccinate teachers and school staff members.”

Pa. Republican lawmakers and the U.S. Capitol attack
As part of WITF’s commitment to standing with facts, and because the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol was connected to Donald Trump’s election-fraud lie and was an attempt to overthrow representative democracy in America, we are marking elected officials’ connections to the insurrection. Read more about this commitment.
State Sen. Ryan Aument signed a letter to Congress opposing Jan. 6 electoral vote certification. The letter, dated Jan. 4, asked Congress to delay certification because, it said incorrectly, SCOTUS “is to hear Trump v. Boockvar in the coming days.” On Jan. 11 SCOTUS refused to fast-track the case, and on Feb. 22 it declined to hear the case. 

The announcement came hours after Republican State Sen. Ryan Aument of Lancaster County, a member of the task force, provided details during an online town hall.

Pennsylvania is expecting 94,000 Johnson & Johnson vaccines this week, Aument told constituents.

The vaccine—also known as the ”Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies” vaccine—requires only one dose to be effective. Those vaccines are being targeted to Pennsylvania teachers to help get children safely back to school, Aument said.

Plans are underway on how it will be distributed using Pennsylvania’s intermediate units, a network of regional educational agencies, Aument said.

He emphasized that teachers will not be moved into Phase 1A, which would make them eligible to sign up for the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines. An estimated 4 million Pennsylvanians are eligible for those vaccines, including all people 65 and older as well as those with certain health conditions.

The update came hours after President Joe Biden announced an increase in vaccine output:

More details will be available Wednesday at 11 a.m. 



Brett Sholtis
Brett Sholtis

Brett Sholtis was a health reporter for WITF/Transforming Health until early 2023. Sholtis is the 2021-2022 Reveal Benjamin von Sternenfels Rosenthal Grantee for Mental Health Investigative Journalism with the Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism. His award-winning work on problem areas in mental health policy and policing helped to get a woman moved from a county jail to a psychiatric facility. Sholtis is a University of Pittsburgh graduate and a Pennsylvania Army National Guard Kosovo campaign veteran.

Read more by Brett Sholtis