BC Teachers Federation President Teri Mooring applauds the province`s decision to launch another campaign to fully vaccinate elementary school children.
According to the BC Centre for Disease Control, 56% of kids aged 5-11 received their first shot – that number drops significantly to 37% in Northern Health.
Mooring told Vista Radio the misinformation surrounding vaccination has made it a much more difficult hill to climb.
“And it’s really unfortunate that the COVID-19 vaccine has been so politicized by outside groups and groups with dubious motivations and that has made the job of government much harder.”
She added two key issues remain in play when it comes to providing more jabs to school-aged children.
“Access is one of them, especially in some of the more northern regions of the province. We’ve been calling on vaccinations to be available at schools for this reason and they are in some cases but not in others. The other issue is education, it’s clear that there needs to be more education and information be provided to families in order to make the decision to get their children vaccinated. As we enter the sixth wave, it’s more critical than ever.”
Furthermore, only 22% of 5-11 year-olds in Northern Health have received both shots – well below the provincial mark of 39%.
Across the Bulkley Valley and Lakes District and the rest of the northwest, first dose figures are all over the map with Nisga’a taking the top spot at 62% followed by Haida Gwaii 57%, Terrace (50%), Prince Rupert and Kitimat (46% each), Upper Skeena (40%), Burns Lake (37%) with Smithers pulling up the rear at (33%).
As for 12-17 year-olds, 89% of the demographic, province-wide got their first jab, while 86% have both doses. In our region, Nisga’a and Haida Gwaii have the most youth with both doses at 85% followed by Prince Rupert (82%), Kitimat (77%), Terrace (76%), Upper Skeena (72%), Smithers (65%) and Burns Lake (59%).
– with files from Vista Radio news wire