PA Governor Tom Wolf Visits the Bucks IU to Discuss Vaccinations of Teachers and School Staff

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf vis­it­ed the Doylestown area on March 19, 2021 to tour the vac­cine clin­ic host­ed by the Bucks County Intermediate Unit (Bucks IU). The vac­cine clin­ic was part of a Commonwealth-wide ini­tia­tive to vac­ci­nate school employ­ees and con­trac­tors. The Governor was greet­ed by Bucks IU Executive Director, Dr. Mark Hoffman, and Bucks IU Deputy Executive Director, Rebecca Roberts-Malamis.  Accompanying the Governor on a tour of the Bucks IU clin­ic were Rich Askey, President of the Pennsylvania State Education Association (PSEA),
and Dr. Chuck Lentz, Superintendent of the New Hope-Solebury School District.

As a part of the vac­cine clin­ic tour, the Governor observed Amy Stribling, a Bucks IU Head Start Site Assistant, get a COVID-19 vac­cine (pho­to bot­tom right). Amy expressed grat­i­tude for the oppor­tu­ni­ty to receive the vac­cine as a new employ­ee of the Bucks IU.

During the press con­fer­ence, Bucks IU Executive Director, Dr. Mark Hoffman wel­comed the Governor by stat­ing, “The Bucks IU is grate­ful to the Governor and oth­er part­ners in the Commonwealth for set­ting aside more than 7,000 vac­cines for Bucks County school employ­ees and con­trac­tors. As a result of the Commonwealth’s efforts, our Bucks County stu­dents, their fam­i­lies, and school staff are safe­ly assured that in-person instruc­tion can con­tin­ue in our schools. The Bucks IU is hon­ored to be a part of this his­toric effort to vac­ci­nate all school employ­ees and contractors.”

The Governor shared details on Pennsylvania’s progress in get­ting Pre‑K to 12 edu­ca­tors and oth­er school staff vac­ci­nat­ed. The Governor stat­ed that as of that morn­ing, 83,859 school employ­ees had received the J&J Vaccine through the Commonwealth’s vac­cine ini­tia­tive. By the end of that week­end, all 94,600 dos­es in the ini­tial J&J vac­cine allo­ca­tion would be admin­is­tered, near­ly two weeks before the orig­i­nal goal of the end of March. In addi­tion, the com­mon­wealth was able to secure 13,000 more dos­es the week before, for a total 107,600 dos­es. The admin­is­tra­tion request­ed anoth­er 13,000 dos­es for that fol­low­ing week. The Governor report­ed that the vast major­i­ty of edu­ca­tors and sup­port staff who wished to receive a vac­cine would be vac­ci­nat­ed by the end of March.

The Wolf Administration col­lab­o­rat­ed with 28 Intermediate Units (IUs), the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE), the Pennsylvania Department of Health, the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA), the Pennsylvania National Guard, and AMI Expeditionary Healthcare to admin­is­ter the J&J vac­cine to school employ­ees and con­trac­tors across the Commonwealth.

This spe­cial vac­ci­na­tion ini­tia­tive is mov­ing incred­i­bly swift­ly thanks to the tremen­dous work of the inter­me­di­ate units, school dis­tricts, Pennsylvania National Guard, and state agen­cies,” said Governor. Wolf. “This has been an incred­i­bly chal­leng­ing year, and the suc­cess of these vac­cine clin­ics is anoth­er reminder that Pennsylvanians are ris­ing to the challenge.”

Following Governor Wolf’s com­ments, Mr. Rich Askey, President of the Pennsylvania State Education Association (PSEA) spoke to reporters. He thanked the Wolf Administration and the efforts of the IUs to get edu­ca­tion­al per­son­nel vaccinated

PSEA mem­bers have gone above and beyond to teach and serve our stu­dents,” said PSEA President Rich Askey. “But we want to be with our stu­dents – in school and in per­son. The vac­ci­na­tion pro­gram that Gov. Wolf and the COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force cre­at­ed will help to get our schools open and our stu­dents learning.”

Dr. Charles Lentz, Superintendent of Schools for the New Hope-Solebury School District, also addressed those gath­ered, and spoke on behalf of the thir­teen Bucks County School District Superintendents and Career Technical Centers. Dr. Lentz praised the efforts of the Bucks IU and thanked the Governor for his efforts to help school dis­tricts safe­ly return to in-person instruction.

Senator Steve Santarsiero thanked the Governor and his staff for their COVID-19 safe­ty ini­tia­tives as well as the efforts to get all of the cit­i­zens of Bucks County and Pennsylvania vaccinated.

The vac­cine clin­ic at the Bucks IU con­tin­ued through Saturday, March 20, 2021 for edu­ca­tors and sup­port staff. Registration was man­aged through each school dis­trict and the state’s con­tract­ed agency, AMI Expeditionary Healthcare.