St. Luke’s Expediting COVID Vaccine Access for Qualified Teachers

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Teachers Vaccine St. Luke's COVID

Credit: St. Luke's University Health Network

“It’s like a sigh of relief,” said Richard Orner, Easton High School teacher and track coach, of getting a COVID-19 vaccination. Orner is pictured above with fellow public school teachers Sean Haas of Freemansburg Elementary Shool (Bethlehem Area School District) and Kellie King of Saucon Valley Elementary School (Saucon Valley School District).

In addition to the successful use of monoclonal antibody treatment on its 1000th COVID patient, St. Luke’s University Health Network announced Wednesday that it is expanding expedited COVID-19 vaccine access to area teachers who qualify under state guidelines.

“We recognize that getting our schools back to ‘normal’ is a goal for every parent, teacher and child,” said Trevor Micklos, St. Luke’s Network Vice President. “Our hope is that by working to vaccinate educators over the next several months, we can ensure that our kids will be ‘back to school’ as soon as possible.”

Recently, St. Luke’s made the commitment to dedicate weekly vaccine appointments to employees of 78 schools in the region, based on state-guided phase requirements.

To qualify for expedited access, education employees must meet Pennsylvania’s Phase 1a eligibility criteria (individuals in the age 16 to 64 age category with high-risk conditions, or individuals who are 65 or older) and have indicated their employer on their St. Luke’s MyChart account. St. Luke’s said it has committed to providing area school districts with a portion of available appointments, while continuing to provide equitable distribution to the remainder of those who are eligible to receive the vaccine as part of Phase 1a.

“We want everyone to be vaccinated as quickly as possible,” said John Hauth, St. Luke’s Senior Network Administrator. “Our only limitation is the amount of vaccine we get from the state. It’s not an instantaneous process, so it is important to remain patient.”

On a weekly basis, St. Luke’s said it will reach out to eligible educators with notifications about available vaccine appointments. Through its commitment to helping vaccinate teachers more expeditiously, the health network said it also hopes to increase support for the local educational system, which is an essential part of the community.

St. Luke’s said it hopes to help all schools eventually bring their students back to in-person learning.

The health network is already closely associated with many local school districts–including the Saucon Valley School District–as it provides them with comprehensive health care services from sports medicine to behavioral health support.

Note: This local health content is brought to you in partnership with St. Luke’s University Health Network.

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