Sask. School Boards Association says mandatory vaccines for education workers will be up to the SHA

The state of California is mandating education workers get a COVID-19 vaccine ahead of the school year.

If education workers are unable or are unwilling to get their COVID vaccine, they will need to submit weekly negative tests.

When it comes to Saskatchewan, the provinces’ School Boards Association President Dr. Shawn Davidson says it’s up to the Saskatchewan Health Authority to make that call.

“We’ve developed a very strong partnership with our officials in health, and we will continue to work closely with them through this pandemic, as we always have,” Dr. Davidson said. “If they determine that (mandatory vaccines) is the best course as far as monitoring and prevention of transmission goes within schools, then we would absolutely work with them on that.”

Dr. Davidson says they’ve worked with the SHA throughout the pandemic.

“We’re in the education sector; we’re not medical experts,” Dr. Davidson said. “We’ve said that repeatedly, and we rely on the expertise within the Ministry of Health and within the Saskatchewan Health Authority for our advise. Even throughout the course of the last year as we’ve seen in some communities that we saw enhanced protection measures based on what was happening in the community and based on community transmission.”

Dr. Davidson says they stand behind the SHA’s recommendation on everyone getting vaccinated.

“We would certainly encourage members of our education community — not just necessarily staff, but also parents — to get the vaccine,” Dr. Davidson said. “The less transmission that we have in our community, the less that we have to worry about the virus entering our school.”

Dr. Davidson says he’s unsure how many education workers are vaccinated, but believes the vaccine uptake is high. He adds any decision on mandatory vaccines by the SHA will not impact school division plans for back-to-school.

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