The Okanagan Skaha Board of Education said it needs to do more research and consultation before it would make a decision on whether or not to mandate vaccines for education staff.
“Our board supports the message from the PHO and our Interior Health medical health officers stating that everyone eligible is encouraged to have two doses of COVID-19 vaccines as the most effective protective measure,” said board chair James Palanio.
“The board continues to approach this in a thoughtful manner, including reviewing available research, consulting with our partners, and reviewing our local vaccinations rates with the support of Interior Health. Through this process, we will continue to consider whether a vaccine mandate would be beneficial to our District before making a decision on the matter.”
Once the board is prepared to make a decision, the matter will be brought to a public meeting, he added.
On Oct. 7, Premier Horgan announced that the COVID-19 vaccine mandate decision for school districts in B.C. will be up to individual boards of education.
The Ministry of Education has since released K-12 guidelines for vaccination policies document to support boards who may be considering implementing a vaccine mandate for staff.
This document was reviewed and discussed by the SD67 board of education on Oct. 25, at an in-camera meeting.
The board continues to consult with the Ministry of Education and the BC Public School Employers’ Association to better understand provincial direction and the implications of a vaccine mandate from an employer perspective, said Palanio.
Currently, there are three SD67 schools with potential COVID exposures.
A BC Teachers Federation survey showed that 94 per cent of teachers in this province are vaccinated.
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