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Vaccines not mandated for Richmond teachers, staff

Richmond city staff, RCMP are both under a vaccine mandate

Richmond teachers and other school staff won’t be mandated to have a COVID-19 vaccine.

The board of education made this decision on Wednesday several weeks after other school districts, like Vancouver, Surrey and New Westminster, made the same decision not to require their staff to be vaccinated.

However, the Richmond Teachers’ Association as well as its provincial body, the BC Teachers’ Federation, were on board with having school staff under a vaccination mandate.

But the BCTF said it would like to see provincial guidance rather than the decision being made district-by-district.

In a press release, the Richmond Board of Education said, when considering whether to implement a vaccine mandate, it looked at case rates in Metro Vancouver, vaccination rates of those 12 and older, school exposure and transmission data as well as public health guidance.

The province is now starting to vaccinate children aged five to 11 with a COVID-19 pediatric vaccine.

The City of Richmond is requiring its staff to be fully vaccinated by Dec. 22 or risk being put on unpaid leave.

A federal order also mandates all RCMP officers be vaccinated for COVID-19. According to Chief Supt. Will Ng, two Richmond RCMP officers were put on unpaid leave after refusing to get vaccinated.