They ‘will be exposed daily to groups of individuals who do not have immunity against this deadly disease’
The Canadian Teachers' Federation (CTF/FCE) is calling on governments across the country to include teachers and education workers on the COVID-19 vaccine priority list.
“Given how essential it is that school buildings remain open for all students to learn to the best of their ability and for the economy to recover, and considering the actual working conditions for teachers and education workers, it is imperative that teachers and education workers be prioritized to receive the Coronavirus vaccine,” says CTF/FCE President Shelley L. Morse.
The group claims that teachers and education workers are at high risk of infection as they are in close contact with students and other adults, “indoors, for many hours at a time, every day, usually with poor ventilation”. They also said that social distancing is not possible in many classrooms and schools.
“What is more, students under the age of 16 have so far not been authorized to be vaccinated. Therefore, unlike most other professionals under consideration for the priority list, teachers and education workers will be exposed daily to groups of individuals who do not have immunity against this deadly disease,” said the group.
Provinces have been prioritizing the vaccination of healthcare workers.
In Saskatchewan, the immunization of 1,950 health care workers began on Tuesday at Regina General Hospital as part of a pilot to test the delivery and storage processes for the Pfizer vaccine.
“Today is an incredibly exciting day in our fight against COVID-19, as nearly 2,000 people who have been on the front-lines delivering care since the beginning of the pandemic start being immunized with their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine,” Premier Scott Moe said. “As the first health care workers in Saskatchewan receive the vaccine, I encourage all Saskatchewan residents to get vaccinated, when the vaccine is made available to them.”
Alberta said that its first 3,900 doses will be offered to priority health-care workers at two vaccine sites – one in Edmonton and one in Calgary.
Meanwhile, Manitoba’s first COVID-19 immunization clinic launched on Wednesday morning to protect 900 health-care providers and the health-care system.
The Neighbourhood Pharmacy Association of Canada (Neighbourhood Pharmacies) previously said that its expertise and experience in vaccine supply chain management and providing immunizations will be essential to the success of Canada's COVID-19 vaccine rollout.