KAWARTHA LAKES-The Ontario government says it is working with public health units and publicly funded school boards to plan and host vaccination clinics in or nearby schools to continue to fight COVID-19. Clinics are expected to run before school starts and during the first few weeks of school.
Officials say while COVID-19 vaccination continues to be voluntary for anyone eligible in Ontario, health experts encourage anyone who is able to get the vaccine as a highly effective tool in the fight against COVID-19 and its variants.
“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, more than 69 per cent of youth aged 12 to17 have received a first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and 56 per cent have received a second dose. School-focused vaccination clinics will support increased uptake for eligible students, as well as education staff, and a safer return to school in the fall.
“It is great news that our students are returning to school this fall, and that kids and youth will finally be together with their classmates to learn and get back to the activities they love,” said Dr. Moore, Chief Medical Officer of Health. “This is crucially important for their mental, physical and social wellbeing. Having vaccination clinics at our schools will make it more convenient for students to receive their vaccine in a familiar and comfortable environment and will help to ensure a safer and sustained reopening of our schools.”
The province says parental consent will not be required for vaccination at school for kids of eligible ages.
“With respect to consent at school-focused clinics, COVID-19 vaccines will only be provided if informed consent is received from the individual, including eligible students, and as long as they have the capability to make this decision. Health care providers, the school, and families must respect a young person’s decision regarding vaccination. Parents and guardians are encouraged to discuss vaccination with their children prior to attending a school vaccination clinic.” said a press release from the Ontario government.
It’s not clear if parents will be notified of their child having a vaccination so they can be on the lookout for adverse events such as heart inflammation known as myocarditis/pericarditis which can impact vaccinated youth.
According to the federal government, there were 423 cases of myocarditis/pericarditis with reports submitted to PHAC or Health Canada up to and including August 6, 2021. According to the Myocarditis Foundation, myocarditis is a disease that causes inflammation of the heart muscle. This inflammation enlarges and weakens the heart, creates scar tissue and forces it to work harder to circulate blood and oxygen throughout the body. They say Myocarditis is the 3rd leading cause of Sudden Death in children and young adults. Read More here:https://www.myocarditisfoundation.org/about-myocarditis/
Of the myocarditis/pericarditis cases in Canada:
- 223 cases received Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, 184 cases received Moderna vaccine, 14 cases received COVISHIELD/AstraZeneca vaccines, and the vaccine name of two were unspecified
Up to and including August 6, 2021, a total of 169 deaths were reported across Canada after the administration of a vaccine.
Find all these stats here:https://health-infobase.canada.ca/covid-19/vaccine-safety/#
Officials say vaccines delivered as part of Ontario’s vaccine rollout provide high levels of effectiveness against hospitalization and death from COVID-19 and its variants, including the Delta variant.