Vivant Edu

Department of Education Visits Harrisburg School District to Recognize Their COVID-19 Vaccination Efforts, Highlight Importance of Getting the Vaccine


Eligible children aged 12 and up are encouraged to get the COVID-19 vaccine as a strategy for a safe return to classrooms.

Harrisburg, PA – Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) Secretary Dr. Noe Ortega and Deputy Secretary Dr. Sherri Smith joined Harrisburg School District administration and community partners to discuss the importance of getting the COVID-19 vaccine before the start of the new school year.

“As communities across the commonwealth prepare for a new school year, we must work together to create healthy and safe conditions for our students, teachers, and staff now and in the future,” said Secretary of Education Dr. Noe Ortega. “We commend the Harrisburg School District and their community partners for their efforts to offer eligible school children and families the COVID-19 vaccine through multiple mobile vaccine clinics this summer.”

The Wolf Administration is encouraging all eligible Pennsylvanians ages 12 and older to get vaccinated to stop the spread of COVID-19 and its variants. 

In March, the administration, in partnership with the COVID-19 Task Force, created a special initiative that vaccinated more than 112,500 teachers and staff in three weeks. The administration applauds Harrisburg School District and supports efforts by schools across the commonwealth to vaccinate eligible school children prior to the start of the new school year.

“In the Harrisburg School District, we remain mindful of the devastating impact of the COVID-19 virus on children, families, and the broader community,” said Harrisburg School District Receiver Dr. Janet Samuels. “As we continue to focus on the importance of health and safety, we have proudly partnered with UPMC for COVID information and with the Hamilton Health Center, a local Federally Qualified Health Center, to provide free vaccinations and educational resources for residents at various Harrisburg School District locations. As a District, we will continue our commitment to promote safety and mitigate risks associated with the spread of COVID-19.”

To support school communities in preparing for the 2021-22 school year, the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) released its Return to School Roadmap last week. PDE will continue to support LEAs as they prepare for and navigate the upcoming school year. This includes through the latest chapter of PDE’s Roadmap for Education Leaders; Accelerated Learning through an Integrated System of Support. This toolkit includes a professional learning series for school leaders and educators to help address students’ learning loss and other issues caused by the pandemic.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health is working to ensure the vaccine is provided in a way that is ethical, equitable, and efficient to all Pennsylvanians:

  • All Pennsylvanians aged 12 and older are eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccine. Use Vaccine Finder to find a COVID-19 vaccine provider near you.
  • Text your zip code to GETVAX (438829) for English, or VACUNA (822862) for Spanish and receive three possible COVID vaccination sites in your area, with phone numbers to call for an appointment.
  • A commonwealth COVID-19 vaccination guide explains the current process for getting one. Pennsylvanians with questions about the vaccination process can call the Department of Health hotline at 1-877-724-3258.
  • Vaccine dashboard data can also be found on the website to find more information on the doses administered and showcase demographic information.
  • The Unite Against COVID Weekly Update is a round-up of news you can use and answers to your most pressing vaccine questions – delivered directly to your inbox every week.
  • Access answers to frequently asked questions on the COVID-19 vaccine.

For today’s media event, please view the PACast.

For more information on the U.S. Department of Education, please visit their website.

For more information on the Pennsylvania Department of Education, please visit the website or follow PDE on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, or Pinterest.

MEDIA CONTACT: Kendall Alexander – [email protected]

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https://www.media.pa.gov/pages/education-details.aspx?newsid=1173