'We are making schools, day cares and communities safer throughout our province', says Premier
Alberta teachers, early childhood educators and support staff can now start booking COVID-19 vaccine appointments, according to the government.
“With more vaccines coming in, we are expanding the rollout to further protect schools and child care facilities,” said Premier Jason Kenny. We know how challenging this pandemic has been on our front-line workers. They have worked incredibly hard throughout this pandemic, continuing to teach and provide support for young people every day. By offering them the vaccine, we are making schools, day cares and communities safer throughout our province.”
Overall, more than 52,000 certificated teachers, 29,000 support staff and 24,000 child care workers will be able to get the vaccine. This would help protect schools, day cares and the health of children and youth provincewide.
Previously, Alberta passed legislation to provide workers access to up to three hours of paid, job-protected leave to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
Since May 4, Alberta teachers and education workers are able to book appointments through the Alberta Health Services online booking tool, 811 or participating pharmacies provincewide.
All certificated teachers actively teaching in kindergarten through Grade 12 are eligible, including those public, separate, francophone, charter, private/independent/ECS operators, and First Nations schools, substitute teachers, administrators and other certified teachers working in separate roles.
This includes support workers, such as educational assistants, bus drivers, custodians and others who support schools.
Also, since May 4, certified early childhood educators and support staff provincewide are able to book appointments. This includes all staff working in licensed child care programs, including day cares, out of school care programs, preschools and family day homes.
Bookings will operate on the honour system. No proof of employment is required when eligible individuals attend their appointment, according to the government.
“We know there are many benefits to being in a classroom – for students and for education professionals. Moving forward with vaccines for teachers, school support and administrative staff and bus drivers will add another layer of protection in schools so that students can continue safely learning in class to the greatest extent possible,” said Adriana LaGrange, minister of education. “I encourage everyone who works with our children and is eligible, to sign up for their vaccine as soon as possible.”
Last month, Alberta launched a pilot program to allow physicians to vaccinate their patients against COVID-19. In January, AHS and Covenant Health piloted the use of temporary vaccine clinics in emergency departments in hospitals across Alberta to give eligible emergency department staff and physicians more chances to receive COVID-19 vaccine.