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Medicine and Health

Pa. DOH Clarifies Vaccination Phases For Colleges: Faculty/Staff Eligible In 1B, Students Must Wait

Penn State students walk across the University Park campus at the beginning of the fall 2020 semester.
Min Xian
/
WPSU
In this file photo, Penn State students walk across the University Park campus at the beginning of the fall 2020 semester.

 

Phase 1B of the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s vaccination plan includes people living in “congregate settings.”  The category includes people living in correctional facilities, homeless shelters, and rehab facilities. But in response to inquiries from WPSU, DOH deputy press secretary Maggi Barton said college students living in dorms are not included in that group. 

 

Barton said “students, 16 or older, at colleges and universities” are included in Phase 2. They are eligible earlier if they fit the qualifications for other phases, such as having certain health conditions. 

Barton said faculty and staff at colleges and universities are eligible to be vaccinated in Phase 1B. The vaccination plan further clarifies that this refers only to those who "cannot work remotely or maintain physical distancing." Public and private K-12 educators are also included in the phase.

Pennsylvania is currently in Phase 1A of vaccine distribution. The Department of Health expanded the initial phase to include individuals 65 or older and people with certain health conditions.

 

Barton said the state has a limited supply of vaccines to distribute and that is slowing the process.

“We need all residents to remain vigilant and be patient as we work to accommodate this first phase,” Barton said.

 

It’s uncertain when Pennsylvania will continue to Phase 1B of the rollout plan.