British Columbia Teachers’ Federation (BCTF) is calling for in-school vaccination clinics and the value of that initiative is echoed by local teachers.
“It would be wonderful to have in-school vaccination clinics in Powell River,” said Izi Loveluck, president of the Powell River and District Teachers’ Association. “This would reduce the burden on families to leave work and drive their children to a clinic, and most likely lead to an increased vaccination rate. If Vancouver Coastal Health can provide in-school vaccinations, this seems the most effective way to reach the majority of students without disruption to working parents.”
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,” stated BCTF president Teri Mooring in a media release. “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.
“Schools regularly coordinate 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.”
Mooring stated that 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.
“We need at least 75 per cent of the population vaccinated,” she added, “and bringing the vaccines into schools can help us get there much faster.”