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Special Initiative for Janssen, Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine

March 3, 2021: Today, Governor Tom Wolf and the Legislative COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force announced a special initiative to prioritize vaccinating Pennsylvania’s education professionals, including early childhood educators and child care providers.

Last week the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention authorized the one-dose Johnson & Johnson (J&J) COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use. Under this special initiative, PreK-12 school staff and childcare program workers will be the first individuals in Pennsylvania eligible to receive the doses as early as mid-March.

This special initiative includes early childhood educators and staff age 18 and older who are employed by a public or non-public PreK-12 school entity, and early childhood program workers age 18 and older who work in the following settings: Child Care; Part Day School Age Programs; Home Visiting Programs; Early Intervention; and Early Childhood programs including Head Start/Early Head Start, Pre-K, and Family Centers. Early childhood staff from Philadelphia are covered in the distribution plan directed by the Philadelphia Department of Health and are not included in this special initiative.

Early Childhood Education (ECE) staff who are directly employed by PreK-12 public and non-public schools or Intermediate Units (IUs) will receive additional information from their employers. The Departments of Health and Education and PEMA are working with the IUs to set up dedicated vaccination sites for PreK-12 staff across the state.

For all other ECE professionals, child care providers, and staff of community-based ECE providers, the Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) is coordinating access to the J&J vaccine with retail pharmacy partners.

Therefore, OCDEL needs your help in order to identify the number of ECE staff who would like to receive the J&J vaccine. OCDEL is asking all ECE program directors to complete the OCDEL Survey for Immunization Needs no later than 5:00 PM, March 19, 2021. This information is critical for OCDEL to appropriately plan and fully implement this Special Initiative for ECE and childcare professionals.


View the FAQ document. More information regarding the Janssen Vaccine Special Initiative and ECE workforce can be found at www.pakeys.org, for Pre-K-12 educator workforce at www.education.pa.gov or the COVID-19 Vaccine for Pre-K to 12 School Staff on the PDE website.


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