Niagara Region Public Health and Niagara Health have vaccinated approximately 1,500 educators who directly support students with special needs.
The District School Board of Niagara said in a news release that the vaccinated staff include teachers from both DSBN and Niagara Catholic.
“Staff are crucial for many of our students with special education needs, and they deserve to have access to the support they require when they’re learning,” said Sue Barnett, DSBN Chair of the Board. “This is an important step forward for Niagara.”
Niagara Catholic Director of Education Camillo Cipriano noted that a safe return to school is the goal for everyone in Niagara and reinforced the importance of having all school staff vaccinated as quickly as possible.
“Teachers teach best, and students learn best when they have human connections,” he said. “Their mental health and well-being and connection to the lessons they are learning improves when they engage in-person. We are grateful to Niagara Region Public Health for including education as part of this early vaccine program, and look forward to vaccinating more staff throughout the spring.”
In January, the province announced that educators will be eligible to receive vaccines as part of Phase Two of Ontario’s immunization program.
Minister of Education Stephen Lecce said he will further advocate for the importance of school staff being vaccinated.