We know the groups first in line for a COVID-19 vaccine.

We know the groups first in line for a COVID-19 vaccine.

Which essential workers should get priority? Teachers lobby for a favourable spot in the pecking order.

We know the groups first in line for a COVID-19 vaccine. Teachers hope to be next. As Canada’s governments roll out coronavirus vaccines, the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) has recommended several immediate priority groups, including long-term care home residents and staffers, front-line health-care workers, seniors, and Indigenous people in rural or remote communities.

However, it’s less clear who is next in line, and calls are emerging for teachers, school staffers and child-care workers to be counted among the essential workers likely to be prioritized next to keep Canada running during the pandemic.

„We’re calling on governments to make sure that teachers are among the first to get vaccinated after the vulnerable populations and our health-care workers,” said Shelley Morse, president of the Canadian Teachers' Federation, an alliance of provincial and territorial teachers' unions that represents more than 300,000 education workers across the country.

Governments should consider teachers and education workers among the early groups of essential workers for vaccination considering the risks most face in their classrooms, including poor ventilation, no room to physically distance and variable mask requirements, Morse said.

In Canada, provincial and territorial governments determine the vaccination queue and the definition of essential workers — among the groups the NACI has recommended be included in the second stage for coronavirus vaccinations. So far, however, many jurisdictions have been tight-lipped about just who will be in these subsequent phases.

B.C., Ontario and Alberta are among the provinces that have said more information will be forthcoming.

 

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