The BC Teachers’ Federation (BCTF) is calling on the Provincial Health Officer and Minister of Health to ensure in-school vaccination clinics are offered as part of the school-aged vaccine rollout, particularly in the hardest-hit regions.
“Reducing barriers is essential to the success of BC’s vaccination program. We’ve seen the province do it with pop-up clinics in high-transmission neighbourhoods, so it’s unclear to us why they are not extending that logic to their approach to vaccinating students,” said Teri Mooring, BCTF President. “Schools regularly co-ordinate parental consent forms, schools have gyms and cafeterias that could be used, and, most importantly, the students are already there. Nobody has to take time off school or work and make the trip to a community clinic if we bring the vaccines to them.”
Approximately half of all students aged 12 to 18 in BC reside in the Fraser Health region, which is also where the highest number of school exposure notices are consistently being issued.
“Setting up in-school vaccination clinics is the best way to vaccinate as many eligible students as possible in the shortest amount of time, focusing initially on the schools experiencing the highest numbers of exposures,” said Mooring. “We need at least 75% of the population vaccinated and bringing the vaccines into schools can help us get there much faster.”