President of the BC Teacher’s Federation (BCTF) Teri Mooring is calling for teachers to be vaccinated for COVID-19 by summer. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

President of the BC Teacher’s Federation (BCTF) Teri Mooring is calling for teachers to be vaccinated for COVID-19 by summer. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

Why it’s ‘urgent’ B.C. teachers get vaccinated from COVID-19 before summer

President Teri Mooring says not enough is being done to prevent virus transmission in schools

BC Teachers’ Federation is calling for the province to inoculate its exhausted teachers with the COVID-19 vaccine before summer.

“We’ve kept B.C. schools open throughout the pandemic but it’s come at a cost: teachers’ physical and mental health,” stated president Teri Mooring.

“It’s important for both their safety and peace of mind that they get vaccinated.”

With recent vaccine approvals in Canada, Mooring said there’s more space than ever for teachers to get vaccinated alongside other essential workers.

“There’s an urgency now that we know of 16 schools in the Fraser Health region that reported variant COVID-19 cases,” she told Black Press Media Friday.

RELATED: Variant of concern linked to COVID-19 outbreak at three Surrey schools

Even with the addition of rapid response teams in the sector, Mooring still doesn’t think enough is being done to prevent virus transmission in schools.

“Even before variants were detected, teachers were deeply unsatisfied with the safety protocols in place,” said Mooring, highlighting the federation’s ongoing appeal for a broader in-school mask mandate and reduction in class sizes.

“The provincial health officer continues to tell us that rates of COVID-19 transmission in schools are low, but the data is telling a different story.”

Evidence from WorkSafeBC shows teachers being infected with COVID-19 more than all others employed – aside from B.C. health care workers.

Eighty-two per cent of teachers’ COVID-19 claims have been accepted by the Workers’ Compensation Board, compared to 70 per cent from those in other sectors.

READ MORE: ‘Status quo is unacceptable’: BCTF calls on Fraser Health to improve school safety

Since early December, the education sector has seen a 250 per cent increase in claims relating to the virus, WorkSafeBC data reveals.

“Teachers would feel more comfortable if they at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine before going into the next school year,” Mooring stated.

“Vaccinations will also allow schools to be reliable and stay open.”



sarah.grochowski@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

CoronavirusEducationvaccines

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Forward Elan Bar Lev Wise of the West Kelowna Warriors (right, shown playing for the Vernon Vipers in 2019) has been suspended nine games by the B.C. Hockey League for being the instigator and aggressor in an after-the-game fight with Vernon’s Kjell Kjemhus Monday, April 12, at Kal Tire Place. Kjemhus was given a two-game suspension for his role in the fight after the game was over. (Morning Star - file photo)
West Kelowna Warriors forward handed lengthy suspension

Elan Bar Lev Wise fought Vernon Vipers forward Kjell Kjemhus after BCHL game was over Monday, April 12; Kjemhus suspended two games

Vernon residents were able to bring propane fire pits down to Polson Park, between Jan. 25 - April 5 to enjoy with their family bubble, similar to those provided for residents at Predator Ridge. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Fire pits a flop in Vernon’s Polson Park

City spends estimated $2K on temporary program, few, if any take advantage; option closed now

Sheila Derbyshire dressed up as a scary clown to surprise her daughter, Talyn, at Len Wood Middle School in Armstrong April 12, 2021, for her 13th birthday. (Sheila Derbyshire - Contributed)
Armstrong mom sends in the clowns

‘Halloween freak’ celebrates daughter’s 13th birthday in style

Taxes are going up slightly for homeowners in 2021 to give businesses a break. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Tax shifts burden from Vernon businesses to homeowners

New rate for residential 2.67 per cent or $42 for average home

City of Armstrong community services manager and chief bylaw officer Warren Smith stands with the new food waste bin and garbage cart to be delivered to eligible residents later this month. (Brooke Hovey photo)
Armstrong changes waste collection system

Residents to be given new bins as part of the new system which goes into effect May 1

A person receives a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C. sees 873 more COVID-19 cases Tuesday, decline continues

Hospitalizations up to 377, two more deaths for 1,515 so far

B.C. Premier John Horgan speaks at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
Tougher COVID-19 restrictions in B.C., including travel, still ‘on the table’: Horgan

John Horgan says travel restrictions will be discussed Wednesday by the provincial cabinet

Conservation officers caught three men over fishing bull trout in Kinbasket Lake. (Facebook)
B.C. men fined $1.7K for overfishing near Revelstoke, Golden

The seized fish were donated to the Golden Food Bank

NorKam secondary student Karis Wilson in the outfit that got her sent home from school on Feb. 23, 2021. (Kamloops This Week photo)
Clothing that ‘detracts from learning process’ removed from SD73 student dress code

Policy change underway after student in knee-length dress, long-sleeve turtleneck sent home

A shop up on Grand Oro Road near Twin Lakes burned down on Monday. (Facebook)
Fire rips through shop in small South Okanagan town

The building was destroyed despite community efforts to fight the fire

WATCH: Conservation group releases short doc on saving South Okanagan’s ‘precious’ Sickle Point

Sickle Point, the last intact wetland near Skaha Lake, is facing the prospect of development

Protesters occupied a road leading to Fairy Creek Watershed near Port Renfrew. (Submitted photo)
B.C. First Nation says logging activist interference not welcome at Fairy Creek

Vancouver Island’s Pacheedaht concerned about increasing polarization over forestry activities

Skaha Lake Middle School. (File photo)
COVID exposure at Penticton middle school

Skaha Middle School is the latest in growing lists of exposure in the Okanagan

Flow Academy is not accepting membership applications from anybody who has received a dose of the vaccine, according to a password-protected membership application form. (Submitted image)
B.C. martial arts gym refusing patrons who have been vaccinated, wear masks

Interior Health has already issued a ticket to Flow Academy for non-compliance with public health orders

Most Read