BC Teachers Federation disappointed members won't be prioritized for vaccine

Plan disappoints teachers

The BC Teachers Federation is reacting with disappointment after the province’s updated vaccine plan revealed teachers will no longer be prioritized for the COVID-19 vaccine.

The B.C. government said Friday the new system will use age as the primary determining factor of who gets vaccinated first, as the elderly are the most vulnerable.

“BC teachers, like many others, will be disappointed to see there is no prioritization for the frontline workers who have kept our schools, public services, and economy open. There had been hope in prior announcements that such prioritization would be possible,” said BCTF President Teri Mooring.

“However, the vaccine supply limit is beyond our control and those among us who are most vulnerable of death and serious illness must be vaccinated first. Hopefully more vaccines are approved and this immunization strategy will be appropriately adjusted and accelerated.”

Mooring said teachers are “stressed, anxious, and even afraid” about a lack of protection from the virus in schools.

She called on the government to “take immediate action to improve safety measures."

While students currently must wear masks in all common areas, Mooring said masks should be mandated in the classroom as well. She also asked for better physical distancing measures and ventilation upgrades for our classrooms.

“Schools need the same safety measures as every single other workplace. This government and school districts must do more,” she said.

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