As part of Phase Two of the provincial rollout of vaccine, the Grey Bruce Health Unit is moving forward with plans to offer the COVID-19 vaccine to the following sectors, beginning this week:
· Staff and residents from local shelter services and congregate settings
· Childcare staff
· Staff in all public, Catholic and private schools
These clinics will be in addition to the already scheduled clinics for eligible age groups, Indigenous communities, and immunocompromised patients receiving chemotherapy. Eligible age groups can make an appointment through the provincial booking system. All others can book through the Grey Bruce Health Unit portal.
Education and childcare staff will be eligible for the first dose of vaccine. Providing education and childcare staff with the vaccine will ensure their protection for the remainder of the school year.
The following considerations went into the decision to move forward with vaccinations for education and childcare:
· The recent increase in case counts is directly related to increased COVID fatigue; this will only get more challenging in the weeks following April Break
· April Break offers the opportunity to administer the vaccine to maximize staff availability by accommodating their ability to attend an offsite clinic and prevent school staff absenteeism related to positive workplace screenings due to potential side effects of the vaccine within the days following administration.
· Providing the vaccine to school staff early in Phase Two, instead of the end of the Phase, offers the most benefit for communities as most schools would not operate during the summer.