By Alice Fraimovich
Mon., Sep 6, 2021 | reading time 3 minutes ⏰
The Chair of the Toronto Board of Education has asked the Ontario government to add the COVID-19 vaccine to the list of vaccinations required for eligible students in public schools.
Alexander Brown made the request Friday in a letter to Education Minister Stephen Lecce, Ontario's Chief Health officer Dr. Kieran Moore and Toronto's Health Officer Dr. Eileen de Villa. As students prepare to return to schools across the province this month, students will be able to attend face-to-face classes without being vaccinated against COVID-19. Children over the age of 12 are currently eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, but only about 64% of children in the 12-17 age group have received two doses of vaccine, the lowest of all age groups.
Brown said in his letter that the Toronto Board of Education passed a motion last week to establish a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination process for all TDSB staff, trustees and visitors to disclose and provide proof of their vaccination status. "To that end, we ask that COVID-19 vaccination be added to the list of mandatory vaccinations for all eligible students," he wrote. "This will further protect our students, staff and their families from the virus and help keep the school open, which is critical to our students' learning and health."
Since the early 1980s, Ontario has required students to be vaccinated against polio, diphtheria, tetanus and measles before attending school. This is the first new vaccine class to be added in many years.