The superintendent of a school district in the centre of British Columbia's coronavirus (COVID-19) storm says all K-12 school-based staff will be getting vaccinated.
Surrey Schools Superintendent Jordan Tinney tweeted a vaccination memo he sent to all Surrey Schools staff on Tuesday (March 23) morning.
In the memo, Tinney announces that he is pleased to confirm that Surrey Schools has been given the green light to work with Fraser Health on a vaccination schedule. More information about the schedule will be available in the coming days, he adds.
"This is welcomed news. Our Board of Education and all partners including Fraser Health have played roles in helping this come to fruition," he writes.
The vaccination memo comes after provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry stated that frontline workers, including teachers, will be prioritized in the vaccine rollout.
Superintendent notes inequality as Surrey school district adds targeted measures
Last week, Tinney blogged about students who weren't showing up to take COVID-19 tests after school-based virus exposures come to light. He suggested socio-economic inequality and the extra pressures the pandemic places on low-income families could be playing a role.
In a case where 100 letters were sent home advising students that COVID-19 tests had been arranged for them because of an exposure, more than one third did not show up, he said.
"Those are typically in areas where there is high poverty," he said in an interview.
Tinney said he's concerned that some families may be worried that a test will lead to a self-isolation order, stoking fears that members could lose their jobs if they don't show up to work. Others may be reluctant to skip class if they rely on school breakfast programs and other supports, he added.
The learning outcomes may also be different for a student who goes home to high-speed internet and multiple smart devices compared to another who self-isolates in a two-bedroom apartment with nine family members, he said.
Vancouver Is Awesome has reached out to Fraser Health for comment.
With files from the Canadian Press.