COVID-19: School kids over 12 can be registered for a vaccine starting this week, says Surrey Schools boss

“It means we can look toward not only a summer that looks much more normal, but a fall that is a return to life just as we once knew it,” says Surrey Schools Superintendent Jordan Tinney

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Parents of school kids aged 12 and over will be able to register to have them vaccinated against COVID-19 this week, according to Surrey Schools Superintendent Jordan Tinney.

On Monday, Tinney released a video to parents providing an update on COVID-19 in his school district and letting them know that provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry was recommending Pfizer vaccinations for anyone over the age of 12.

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“Please look for information mid week on how to register your child to be vaccinated should you wish them to be,” Tinney said.

“The goal we are hearing as a province is to have all students vaccinated by June 30. With that they hope that by August 30 everyone will have their second dose.

“That’s game-changing information for us as a province and a school district. It also means we can look toward not only a summer that looks much more normal, but a fall that is a return to life just as we once knew it.”

Tinney said that mass vaccination of most Surrey Schools staff had led to a drop in the number of staff becoming infected with COVID-19.

“In the first 10 days of May we had seven adults reporting positive tests, and since May 11 there has only been two, including four days where no one reported positive with COVID-19,” he said. “Clearly the vaccines are working.”

There were 14 COVID-19 deaths reported in B.C. over the past three days and 1,360 new cases. Of those who died, 12 were aged 60 to 90, while one was in their 50s and the other in their 40s.

Of the 5,021 active cases of the disease in B.C., 350 are being treated in hospital including 132 in intensive care.

All key COVID-19 metrics are on the decline in B.C. as vaccination ramps up. Anyone aged 18 and over can register themselves for a vaccine at any time.

Henry said that as of Sunday 2,528,398 doses of vaccine have been administered — including 130,023 second doses. That means around three per cent of B.C.’s adult population are fully vaccinated, while more than half the population aged 18 and over had received at least one dose.

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However, Henry has given no timeline, or set of metrics, that might lead to a relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions.

“I expect this virus will be here for years, but how it impacts us will be very different than what’s happening right now,” she said.

“We will go to it being a virus that causes sporadic outbreaks, maybe in long-term care homes, maybe in schools, maybe in congregate settings when we come together, but most people will be protected through immunization so we won’t have the same effects of hospitalizations and deaths that we’ve seen this past year.

“But there may be times when people will need to stay home from school or work, they’ll need to wear masks in certain situations, we’ll need to make sure we have rapid testing available to detect if somebody is sick.

“I’m cautiously optimistic that when we get to the immunization levels that we need to protect those most at risk in the next few months and get second doses in people, that we will not be in a pandemic anymore.”

dcarrigg@postmedia.com


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