School staff in Niagara to receive COVID-19 vaccines next week

CKTB - NEWS - COVID-19 school

Education workers in Niagara will soon be able to get a COVID-19 vaccine.

Niagara Region Public Health and Niagara Health have worked with the school boards to ensure staff, including teachers and other employees working in the school environments, will be able to get the shot during the delayed Spring Break next week.

Beginning April 9, frontline staff in the following roles, who are unable to work from home, will be able to book a vaccine appointment:

  • Teachers and educators, including occasional supply teachers who are actively working in-person and/or who backfill teachers who are absent because of potential COVID-19 exposures
  • Early childhood educators, including those who provide coverage within either or both childcare and elementary school sectors.
  • Licensees, employees and students on educational placement working in licensed childcare centres
  • Licensed home childcare and in-home service providers
  • Custodial, cafeteria and administrative staff
  • Bus drivers and monitors

Eligible workers will be vaccinated at Niagara Health’s immunization clinic at the Seymour Hannah Recreation Complex in St. Catharines and will receive detailed booking instructions from their employer. 

Representatives for the District School Board of Niagara say 4,000 eligible staff members will have the option to be vaccinated between April 10 - 18.

DSBN Director of Education Warren Hoshizaki says, "Vaccinating staff who work in schools means that another layer of safety and protection is there for students, staff, and their families. We are once again thankful to NRPH and Niagara Health for recognizing the important role that these staff have in the community."

DSBN staff are working with Niagara Region Public Health and Niagara Health to cement the logistics for the vaccinations.

Staff within the Niagara Catholic District School Board will also be eligible for vaccinations.

"Schools are microcosms of the community, and we know that we are not immune to being affected by community cases," said Niagara Catholic Director of Education Camillo Cipriano. "Through the consistent and persistent efforts of our staff in observing COVID safety measures in schools, we have been fortunate to have had only a few outbreaks in our schools this year. However, we recognize how easy it is to transmit COVID-19, especially the new variants of concern. We are very grateful to Niagara's Vaccine Task Force for recognizing the urgency in having education workers vaccinated, so that our staff who choose to be vaccinated will be when they return to work April 19. This is one more step towards what most of us recognize as a normal school year, hopefully in September."