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COVID-19 vaccinations coming for all school staff in Vancouver Coastal Health region

Educators in the Vancouver Coastal Health region will be among the next to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

In a letter to staff, the Vancouver School District said it has been informed that Vancouver Coastal Health will be providing vaccinations to all staff in all VCH school districts.

The health authority has secured a supply of vaccines which will be made available starting Friday, the district said.

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‘Pretty sweet’: First Surrey teachers get immunized against COVID-19

“All VSB staff are eligible to be vaccinated as part of this program regardless of their role in the District,” the letter states.

“As public health experts have explained, every single person who receives a vaccine helps to keep all of us safer.”

Click to play video: COVID-19: Surrey teachers now receiving Pfizer vaccine, B.C. officials hold 1 p.m. briefing

The move comes as Vancouver Coastal Health becomes a growing COVID-19 hotspot. As of Wednesday there were nearly 3,000 active cases in the health region, which has averaged more than 300 new cases per day over the last week.

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B.C. teacher in search of a COVID-19 vaccine

The district said it will begin contacting school staff and district sites this weekend about when they’ll be eligible to book a vaccine. Clinics will be held on weekends and evenings, so as not to interfere with school schedules.

The vaccine will not be available to anyone who has already had a first dose, the district said.

The district did not specify what vaccine will be used, other than it will be “one of the vaccines approved for use by Health Canada.”

Click to play video: B.C. teacher in search of a COVID-19 vaccine

British Columbia had initially intended to use its supply of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine to immunize front-line workers, but paused the program last month amid concerns about rare blood clots among younger adults.

Earlier Wednesday, Health Canada maintained that the AstraZeneca vaccine remains safe, despite new evidence suggesting a “stronger link” to blood clots, however the vaccine remains authorized only for people aged 55 and older.

Read more:
B.C. reports another 1,168 COVID-19 cases, record number in hospital

Speaking to reporters in Victoria Wednesday afternoon, Health Minister Adrian Dix said the province continues to review the situation and was expecting further guidance within a week.

“The original plan of course, would have been our desired option, so we’re hopeful about what may come out of that process, but we’re very, very clear that we follow safety signals,” Dix said.

The province has already begun immunizing education workers in the Fraser Health region, with a priority on Surrey, which is among the province’s most active COVID-19 hot spots.

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