An estimated 2,500 teachers and staff members within the Central Okanagan School District (SD23) have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Last week, vaccinations opened up to teachers and school staff members in Central Okanagan schools.
“They’ve been positive about it because it’s the most powerful tool we have in our tool kit to combat COVID-19 and make our schools even safer,” said the school district’s superintendent Kevin Kaardal.
“I think there’s generally a great sense of relief and most people are very pleased. Of course, there’s some concern about some of the vaccines but overall, teachers are feeling positive.”
Central Okanagan Teachers’ Association president Susan Bauhart said they’re thrilled to hear about full-time teachers, teachers on-call and administrators getting vaccinated.
“Teachers were just thrilled to find out the vaccines were ready and available for them. It’s been an interesting year,” she said.
“It’s been challenging for teachers in classrooms.”
She said that despite the safety protocols in schools and public health orders, teachers couldn’t keep their bubbles small like other people can, which opened them up to risks and was one of the main sources of anxiety for staff and educators.
“The BCTF (BC Teachers’ Federation) and local associations like us have been vocal about protection for teachers and school staff from the very start,” she said.
“I wrote Interior Health myself. We’ve been imploring for these vaccinations to come and now that it’s happened, how could we not be happy about that?”
Kaardal encouraged staff who may not have gotten the vaccine yet, as well as community members, to get the jab whenever they are able.
“If you have concerns, please check with your doctor. Overall, we’re just so happy about this opportunity and we are grateful for the support Interior Health has offered.”