With the B.C. government adding children under 12 to its vaccination program, the provincial teachers’ union says it’s in favour of holding clinics on school sites.
The B.C. Ministry of Health said that children aged five to 11 will be able to receive vaccines beginning Monday, Nov. 29. Dr. Penny Ballem, doctor in charge of the roll-out, said vaccination will take place at some schools after hours. Teri Mooring, B.C. Teachers’ Federation president, told Black Press she is in favour of the move.
“It makes sense that the places that families normally go to are used for vaccination clinics,” Mooring said. “Using schools in the evening, or after school, it’s a great use of schools. In lots of communities, the school is the hub of the community, especially in smaller communities … that makes the vaccines accessible and I think it’s important that families go to places where they have trust.”
While Mooring said the decision to inoculate a child is ultimately up to parents, numbers provided by the province Nov. 23 showed instances of infection of children in that demographic has “significantly increased since the start of the school year.”
“While children typically don’t get as sick as adults do with COVID-19, they can still pass [it] on to others that may be medically vulnerable,” said Mooring. “In order for us all to be protected, we all need to be vaccinated and so we are certainly encouraging families to register, if they haven’t registered already, and to get their children vaccinated.”
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Mooring also encourages that parents who are hesitant to consult with a medical professional.
“It’s going to be really important for families to get updated information from reliable sources about the effectiveness of the vaccine and the fact that they are safe,” said Mooring.
“There’s been very few negative outcomes, in terms of children being vaccinated, and those negative outcomes haven’t been significant. There’s been some, but there hasn’t been significant illness for example. The vaccines are safe, they’re reliable and they’ve been tested and approved both in the U.S. and in Canada now.”