Ontario sets up vaccine clinics in schools to increase vaccinations come September
By Dami Igbinyemi
With schools opening up in September, the risk of COVID-19 increases significantly. That is why health officials are encouraging anyone eligible for the vaccine to get their doses as they have proved to be a very effective tool in the fight against COVID-19 and its variants.
The Ontario government is working with public health and public school boards to plan and host vaccination clinics in schools to fight COVID-19. The clinics are hoping to run before school starts and a few weeks after. This program is part of Ontario’s strategy to target those who haven’t receive either dose of the vaccines and provide easy access to those looking to get vaccinated, including educators and school staff returning in the fall.
“We have made tremendous progress getting students, staff and their families vaccinated – they are critical to protecting schools and keeping our communities safe,” said Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education. “As part of the last mile campaign to reach as many students and staff as possible and to keep schools as safe as possible, we are requiring school boards and public health units to roll out clinics in or close to schools. By making vaccines more accessible, and with a cautious reopening in September following the expert advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, we will further bolster our fight against COVID-19 and variants.”
As of August 15, 69% of youth aged 12 to 17 have received their first dose of the vaccine and 56% are fully vaccinated. During July of this year, unvaccinated individuals were approximately eight times more likely to get infected with COVID-19 compared to those fully vaccinated. The school-focused clinics will be aimed at youth, families and education staff who have yet to receive either dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. COVID-19 vaccines will only be provided to individuals with their guardian consent or eligible individuals who can consent for themselves.