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Teachers at Niagara Catholic school board will soon be able to receive COVID-19 vaccine

Global News has confirmed educators, school bus drivers and crossing guards with the Niagara Catholic District School Board will soon be able to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

An all-staff memo obtained by Global News scheduled to be issued Tuesday from Director of Education Camillo Cipriano states, “All active full-time, part-time, occasional and casual Niagara Catholic staff and those scheduled for a return to work within the next six weeks are eligible to be vaccinated next week.”

The memo also states, “The plan also includes school bus drivers and crossing guards, who are so important to our school communities.”

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The vaccinations are a first dose for those who have not yet been vaccinated. Online booking will begin April 9.

The Niagara Catholic District Board did not wish to comment on the memo when reached Monday evening by Global News as some staff had not yet been notified.

The news comes as calls grow for all educators to be vaccinated as quickly as possible and as school is set to resume in most parts of the province Tuesday after the Easter long weekend.

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Some educators in the Niagara Region have already been vaccinated as part of plans to accelerate inoculations for those working in schools with special needs students.

In March, the chair of the District School Board of Niagara Sue Barnett said, “Staff are crucial for many of our students with special education needs, and they deserve to have access to the support they require when they’re learning.”

The province announced in January all Ontario educators will be eligible to receive vaccines as part of Phase 2 of Ontario’s immunization distribution plan, however further details on specifics of booking have not yet been made clear.

Click to play video: Ontario education minister’s office reiterates ‘schools remain safe’

“We’re going to continue to work on this, and we want to make sure every single education staff member gets access to the vaccine as soon as possible,” Education Minister Stephen Lecce said on March 25.

“The challenge is the limitation of the vaccine, as we get more of it, I expect to see timelines shortened so that we can get more vaccines in the arms of our education staff – they deserve it. We want to keep them safe.”

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