High levels of COVID-19 vaccination reported among Ottawa-Carleton school board staff

The vast majority of employees at Ottawa’s largest school board who responded to an initial tally of COVID-19 vaccine uptake said they had already received both doses within the first week of classes, though hundreds of staff have yet to attest to their vaccination status.

Of the roughly 10,000 staff at the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board who answered a vaccine survey sent out Sept. 2, more than 95 per cent said they were fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Some 2.2 per cent said they were partially vaccinated with one dose, while 2.3 per cent indicated they would seek an exemption on a medical or human rights basis, refused to get a vaccine or refused to disclose their status.

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Those initial responses account for 85 per cent of all OCDSB staff, according to a presentation to the board of trustees Tuesday night.

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The board is now following up with those who did not provide an initial response.

Staff that aren’t fully vaccinated or refused to say will be subject to a rapid testing protocol to be allowed to work at schools in the board until the OCDSB’s vaccine mandate starts to kick in at the end of the month. They’ll also have to go through a course developed by the Ministry of Education designed to provide information about the benefits of vaccination.

All staff at the OCDSB are expected to be fully vaccinated in the fall term, with first shots needed by Sept. 30.

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The board of trustees voted down a motion at Tuesday night’s committee meeting that proposed mandating full vaccination for eligible students born in 2009 or earlier.

Across Ottawa, some 90 per cent of students aged 12 to 17 have received at least one shot of the COVID-19 vaccine, while 77 per cent are considered fully vaccinated, according to the local public health unit.

Ottawa Public Health’s COVID-19 dashboard shows 81 per cent of eligible residents are considered fully vaccinated as of Wednesday, with 87 per cent having gotten at least one dose.

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