Educators should have priority for COVID-19 vaccine, says Ottawa school board chair


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The chair of the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board is asking the provincial government to give priority to vaccinating education workers against COVID-19.

Lynn Scott wrote a letter to the ministers of education and health asking them to make a “formal public commitment” that education workers will be part of Phase 2 of the province’s vaccination rollout.

“This pandemic has reinforced our collective responsibility to prioritize keeping schools open — for students, for families, and for the economy,” Scott wrote.

“We want our schools to be open, but we need to do everything we can to ensure our staff is safe, particularly those engaged in in-person work in schools, and especially supporting our most vulnerable high-needs students.”

Scott said education workers need the protection of the vaccine as more contagious variants of COVID-19 spread, adding “more uncertainty to our efforts to keep schools open and prevent further disruptions in our children’s education.”

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The province’s Phase 2 rollout is expected to run from April to July, depending on the availability of vaccines.

According to the government, education workers are among the groups of people eligible for the vaccine in Phase 2. The government website on vaccines says Phase 2 will include front-line essential workers, which it defines as “including first responders, education workers and the food processing industry.”

jmiller@postmedia.com

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