The Ontario Student Trustees’ Association is encouraging all eligible students to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Vaccinations significantly decrease the likelihood of infections and outbreaks which allows for a safer learning environment for students and a swifter transition to normalcy. As cases continue to rise and the fourth wave worsens, we want to ensure that students return to school safely in September.
We urge the government to hold eligible students accountable to the same vaccination disclosure policy that applies to school board staff. This policy gives in-person learning a better chance to continue, which is crucial for students’ well-being and academic success.
Students can be exempt from receiving the vaccine for medical reasons, religious reasons, and due to the lack of permission from parents or guardians. Students who do not receive the vaccine should be required to undertake regular antigen testing and this should be done consistently (based on local health guidelines and board decisions) to ensure schools are informed on a student’s COVID-19 status.
With this vaccination disclosure policy implemented, students will be able to return to in-person learning knowing that there are more safety measures in place to protect them. We call on the government to work closely with students, staff, and school boards to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our schools and communities.
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