Alberta Teachers’ Association hopes Pfizer vaccine for children will ease the hectic school year

The past year and a half at many schools in Alberta has been brutal.

“There were a lot of cases, a lot of people were infected and it was forcing people to work online, back to school,” said Alberta Teachers’ Association president Jason Schilling.

Dr Tehseen Ladha said schools have been a driver of community transmission of COVID-19.

“School is one of those situations where there are so many children in one space sharing the air in one space for hours and hours a day,” Ladha said.

But with Health Canada’s approval of the Pfizer vaccine for children ages 5 to 11, there is optimism for what remains of this school year.

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“What I think we’ll see is the roller coaster we had last year with worrying about COVID cases and online or online schools for a week or class to go online, we Might not see much of this commotion or disruption over the remainder of this school year, ”Schilling said.

Schilling said it could help learning and said teachers were excited about it.

“If we can get the majority of school-aged children vaccinated, we envision a scenario in which there is a marked decrease in transmission in schools and fewer epidemics,” Ladha said.

Schilling said schools could be used as vaccination sites, but at this time the province said it had no plans for a school rollout.

Read more:

Health Canada approves Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 5 to 11

With the vaccines slated to be available in Alberta next week, Kelly Grindrod, associate professor of pharmacy at the University of Waterloo, said education is essential for parents and children.

“It is important to talk to children about why we get vaccines and the importance of vaccines and the type of conditions we protect ourselves from, as it helps them understand this broader role in public health. and what’s at play in our lives, ”Grindrod said. .

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For kids who are afraid of needles or pain, Grindrod said parents can use distractions like headphones and Netflix or a book. There are also numbing patches.

“It’s a really exciting time for the kids to potentially come back to some kind of normalcy let alone school breaks,” Ladha said.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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