Freedom Middle School plans to come back full time after staff is vaccinated

Sara Harp, Copy Editor

For the past few months, the COVID-19 vaccine has been being distributed and administered to the public. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) has recommended healthcare workers and residents of long-term care facilities to be the first to receive it. But, how does the CDC come to that conclusion? 

After the FDA approves a vaccine, the ACIP (Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices) gathers and reviews all the data that is available for it. Also, they review all clinical trial information before making a recommendation. This includes who is receiving each vaccine, how different age groups respond to it, as well as the side effects of each vaccine. ACIP will then go from such data, and vote on whether to recommend the vaccine, and recommend who should get the vaccine first when supplies are low. However, each state, tribe, and territory developed their own plan for deciding who to vaccinate for COVID-19 first as well as the following groups of people. 

Pennsylvania’s plan has four phases, 1a, 1b, 1c, and phase 2. We are in phase 1a

. This consists of  long-term care facility residents, healthcare personnel, citizens 65 and older, and people ages 16-64 with high risk conditions causing increased risk for severe disease. 

Currently, there are three main approved vaccines. First, is the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. This vaccine is only one shot. Secondly, the Moderna vaccine, this is two shots, 28 days apart. The third recommended vaccine is the Pfizer- BioNTech, which is also 2 shots, but they are only 21 days apart.

The teachers and staff of Freedom Area Middle School have all been vaccinated as of now. This is the main reason students will be coming back to school full-time after spring break, which ends April 6. However, students will still be able to decide whether they want to chrome back to school full-time, or stay fully virtual.

 “As with all decisions, my first priority is the safety of all students and staff members. This has been the guiding premise for all of the decisions I have made since the pandemic started on March 13, 2020,” Dr. Jeffrey Fuller, Freedom Area School District superintendent, said. “Our students and staff all did a fantastic job in the fall. Our closures had more to do with county-wide issues than students specifically involving Freedom students and staff. However, everyone still has to be vigilant. Wear your face coverings, wash your hands, and try to maintain social distancing.”

So, in summary, coming back to full- time learning will not be much different than it has been before, the students and staff as a whole will only have to be safe and protect each other from the virus.