By CBS3 Staff

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia will assist the city’s health department in a COVID-19 school vaccination program. Mayor Jim Kenney announced the new vaccination program on Monday in an effort to inoculate teachers, principals, and staff members at all schools in Philadelphia.

The vaccination effort is expected to begin by the end of February and is expected to expand to include a number of locations, including pop-up clinics located in school buildings throughout the city.

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“As we near the one-year anniversary of the pandemic, getting children back into classrooms throughout the city is vitally important to their future,” Kenney said. “So I am absolutely thrilled to see Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia stepping up in a major way for our children. While I fully support Dr. Hite’s plan to have students back in classrooms the week of February 22, this vaccination program will go a long way to easing the concerns that teachers have expressed. It is imperative that our children get back to in-person learning, and every Philadelphian should be thankful that CHOP is able to offer its resources and expertise for this crucial effort.”

The city will be working with early child care providers, including pre-K providers, to sign up for vaccinations.

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Meanwhile, Philadelphia public school teachers are pushing back against the district’s COVID-19 reopening plan. They say it’s too soon to go back into a classroom, full of students.

Philadelphia educators, community leaders and city and state officials are coming together Monday in a show of solidarity demanding the safe reopening of city schools.

As many as 2,000 teachers were to report to classrooms Monday morning to begin planning for the return of students to hybrid learning. Instead, many teachers and parents turned out at schools around the city saying it’s still too unsafe to return to schools in the midst of a pandemic.

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They are awaiting the findings of a third party mediator to give his findings on whether buildings are safe enough to reopen.