School, child-care staff vaccination rates rising on P.E.I.

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According to P.E.I.'s education department, the vaccination rate among staff at Island child-care centres has jumped from 82 per cent to 90 per cent since late September.  (Steve Bruce/CBC - image credit)
According to P.E.I.'s education department, the vaccination rate among staff at Island child-care centres has jumped from 82 per cent to 90 per cent since late September. (Steve Bruce/CBC - image credit)

The number of staff in child-care centres fully vaccinated against COVID-19 has jumped since late September from 82 per cent to 90, according to P.E.I.'s education department.

The increase coincides with the province's vaccinate-or-test policy, which requires people working with vulnerable populations to get tested up to three times per week if they're not fully vaccinated.

In late September, only 82 per cent of child-care workers were fully vaccinated which, at the time, was five per cent lower than the province's overall vaccination rate among eligible Islanders.

The overall vaccination rate for all school staff has increased as well — from 90 per cent to 93.5. The rate among teachers specifically is now 96.5 per cent.

Steve Bruce/CBC
Steve Bruce/CBC

Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison said back in September that the 90 per cent rate in schools was "not high enough for me to be comfortable."

Just two weeks ago, the provincial Liberals put forward a motion in the legislature calling for mandatory vaccination for school and child-care workers.

The party cited the low vaccination rate among daycare staff as a particular concern.

"Do you think 18 per cent of child-care workers not fully vaccinated is an acceptable number?" interim Liberal Leader Sonny Gallant asked.

In response, P.E.I.'s Minister of Education Natalie Jameson said the province's vaccinate-or-test policy has been effective, and that vaccination rates were rising.

The vaccination rates for child care and school staff are now higher than P.E.I.'s overall rate.

As of Oct. 30, 88.3 per cent of Islanders 12 years and older were fully vaccinated.

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