Not everyone is happy with B.C.’s decision to include children in its vaccination strategy by having them inoculated alongside their parents.
The head of B.C. Teachers Federation says schools, not community clinics, would be the best place to vaccinate children aged 12 to 17 against COVID-19.
“Setting up in-school vaccination clinics is the best way to vaccinate as many eligible students as possible in the shortest amount of time,” said Teri Mooring.
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said Thursday (May 20) that community clinics were chosen to allow families to attend together, an approach she said is likely to maximize the delivery of COVID-19 vaccinations.
She said the vaccination focus should first be in schools with more than 1,000 students, including in the Fraser Health region where in-class exposures most frequently occur.
“Vaccinations already occur in schools,” the president said. “Schools regularly co-ordinate parental consent forms, schools have gyms and cafeterias that could be used.”
If schools don’t carry the vaccines, Mooring said working parents might not find the time to schedule their children a dose.
“Unfortunately, the paid vaccination leave is for the individual worker and isn’t available to bring children to get their vaccinations,” she said.
“Parents who work multiple jobs or are essential workers may find it difficult to go to a clinic as a family.”
I'm thinking of those families for whom this will present a significant barrier to their children getting vaccinated. It's critical that we use an equity lens when it comes to public health. Some folks work multiple jobs, and aren't easily able to bring their kids to a clinic.
— Teri Mooring (@TeriMooring) May 20, 2021
“We need at least 75 per cent of the population vaccinated and bringing the vaccines into schools can help us get there much faster as the students are already there.”
As it stands, the province estimates there are 310,000 people between the age of 12 and 17 eligible to be vaccinated.
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