Plans are already well under way for vaccination clinics for the age 5 to 11 age group in the Prince Albert Catholic School Division after the province's announcement on Monday.
According to director of education Lorel Trumier, the division is opening up their K to 8 schools as vaccination sites after consultation with local public health. The school vaccination sites would open on Sunday.
“We know that there are lots of families who would like to have their children vaccinated,” Trumier said. “For that reason, to ensure that public health has the opportunity and the support that they need to do that, we are offering that opportunity for public health to use our facilities.”
The first clinics will open in Ecole Holy Cross on Sunday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Trumier said no children would be vaccinated without parental consent.
School clinics will only be open to families with children attending that school.
“That gives them more intimacy, perhaps, or people that they were familiar with,” Trumier said. “Again, we are just offering the facilities in those communities so that it is easy for the families to make the decision.”
On Monday Nov. 29 from noon to 7:30 p.m. there is a clinic at Ecole St. Anne, on Wednesday, Dec. 1 from noon to 7:30 at St. Francis School and noon to 5:30 p.m. at St. Catherine School. Clinics begin again on Monday, Dec. 6 t St. John School from noon to 7:30 p.m. and on Tuesday, Dec. 7 from noon to 5:30 p.m. at St Michael School.
A parent or guardian must accompany any child from Kindergarten to Grade 4. Students Grade 5 or higher can attend on their own if they bring a signed consent form.
“We anticipate that the after-school time will probably be busy because that's when parents are off from work,” Trumier said.
“No student would be given the vaccine without consent unless they are age appropriate for consent,” she added.
The division has distributed information from public health about the availability of clinics and the consent form as well as information about the Pfizer pediatric COVID-19 vaccine so parents can make their decisions accordingly.
A letter distributed to parents states that in order to meet demand for immunizations in a timely manner, Public Health nurses in Prince Albert will host clinics at many local schools, in addition to having public clinics where everyone can attend.
“School based clinics will only be for students/families that attend that particular school,” the letter reads. “We encourage families to take advantage of these clinics to allow others who do not have the school based clinics the opportunity to attend the public ones. School divisions will be sending out these dates.”
Trumier said many families in the division have been anticipating the arrival of these school vaccine clinics.
“We know that there are lots of decisions that families are making,” she explained. “That's a good thing that they get informed. I think if families are in doubt they should be talking to their doctor or public health regarding any kind of questions they have regarding vaccines. We are not experts in those areas, public health is and our doctors are.”
Michael Oleksyn, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Prince Albert Daily Herald