Lincoln Intermediate Unit to begin vaccinating teachers Thursday, Central York official says

Erin Bamer
York Dispatch
Granby kindergarten school teacher Christina Kibby receives the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine by pharmacist Madeline Acquilano, left, at Hartford Hospital in Hartford, Conn., Wednesday, March 3, 2021. The first shipments of the vaccine arrived at the hospital this morning. Cities and states are rapidly expanding access to vaccines as the nation races to head off a resurgence in coronavirus infections and reopen schools and businesses battered by the pandemic. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)

The Lincoln Intermediate Unit in New Oxford will begin administering the COVID-19 vaccine to York County teachers on Thursday, according to a Central York School District official. 

Central York Human Resources Director Bobbi Billman shared details about the plan at a Monday school board meeting. All employees at Pennsylvania's public and private schools are eligible to receive the vaccine, including support staff such as substitute teachers and bus drivers.

Lincoln Intermediate Unit officials declined comment when reached Wednesday.

Gov. Tom Wolf announced a plan last week to distribute the one-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine directly to Pennsylvania educators, with the goal to grant all state educators and support staff access to the vaccine by the end of March. About 94,000 doses were distributed in the first wave of the rollout, with early and special education educators as the top priority to receive the vaccine.

More:York County school officials praise Wolf's vaccine rollout for teachers

More:York County reports 53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths

The vaccines will be administered at the 28 intermediate units across Pennsylvania. The Lincoln Intermediate Unit serves 14 of York County's 16 public school districts, according to its website. 

Each York County school district was provided a different allotment of vaccines for staff in the first wave, determined by the state Department of Health and Education. Billman said the Lincoln Intermediate Unit received about 5,400 total doses, and Central York was allotted 302 of those doses. She said 438 district staff members indicated interest in the vaccine in a recent survey.

The intermediate unit plans to administer the vaccine starting Thursday through March 19 for the first wave of the rollout, with additional doses expected in the coming weeks. Billman said Central York staff are scheduled to receive the vaccine Tuesday. She said intermediate unit officials anticipate administering about 675 vaccinations per day.

Other York County public school districts are steadily revealing more information about the vaccine rollout among their staff.

Dallastown Area School District staff are scheduled to receive the vaccine Friday, according to spokesperson Nicole Montgomery. She said the district was allotted 410 doses in the first wave, and she does not know when the second wave of doses will be scheduled. 

York Suburban School District was allotted 151 doses in the first wave, to be administered Sunday, Superintendent Timothy Williams said during a Monday board meeting. There were 72 staff members who want the vaccine left out of the first wave, he said. Those staff will receive the vaccine in the second wave of doses, which Williams said he expects to come in about two weeks. 

York City School District was allotted 301 doses in the first wave, but only 245 staff members are scheduled to receive the vaccine on March 17, Superintendent Andrea Berry said at a Monday board meeting. She said administrators aggressively recruited staff members to sign up, and she was disappointed there were 56 vaccine slots left unused. Berry said she is afraid the district won't receive as many doses in the second wave because of this. 

Berry said several York City staff members have already received at least one dose of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine during phase 1A of the state's vaccine distribution. If you have received one dose of either vaccine, you cannot receive the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, she said. 

Wolf presented the rollout plan for educators in an attempt to aid schools in reopening for more in-person instruction. All York County school districts already offer in-person instruction in some form, but York Suburban and York City officials revealed at their Monday board meetings that their districts plan to reopen schools further once all of their employees have the opportunity to receive a vaccine.