NDP urging province to prioritize teachers in vaccine plan

The Saskatchewan NDP are calling on the government to do more to protect students and school staff as the end of the school year approaches.

NDP Education Critic Carla Beck says teachers around the province continue to push to be prioritized in the vaccine rollout.

“Prioritize vaccination for school staff, this is something a growing number of school boards have asked for,” said Beck. “They really hoped that the three weeks, with Easter, and two weeks after Easter, when they moved to level 4, that they would see a decrease in the variants of concern in their communities, unfortunately that hasn’t happened.”

Beck says it’s very important that students don’t lose out on anymore education days due to the pandemic.

“We’re asking essentially the same thing we’ve been asking since August,” said Beck. “And that is we do everything we can to prioritize keeping schools open. I think there are very few people who want to see schools closed.”

While many schools have received rapid-testing equipment, they haven’t been given the go-ahead to use them.

When it comes to the vaccines, Health Minister Paul Merriman says with the age sequencing approach, the majority of teachers will be eligible soon.

“We’re moving through the age categories very quickly right now,” said Merriman. “Once we get to 40-41, I’ve been told that almost 60 percent of teachers will be eligible to get their vaccine at that point in time. We’re continuing to work with the age categories because that is the main reason we’re leading Canada in our vaccine distribution.”

All students in Regina are currently learning remotely as the city grapples with COVID-19 variants.

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