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Opposition calling for school-based vaccination campaigns this fall

Last Updated Jul 19, 2021 at 11:14 pm MDT

EDMONTON – Alberta’s NDP leader says it’s time to double down on our efforts to get as many Albertans vaccinated as possible, and the next step should be a school-based COVID-19 vaccination program when classes resume in the fall.

Rachel Notley says currently about 63 per cent of Albertans between the ages of 12 and 39 have one dose.

“And the numbers are much worse when it comes to getting the second dose, especially among those who are school-aged,” she said.

“Currently about 36 per cent of those aged 12 to 14 have two shots and that number rises slightly to about 41 per cent among those aged 14 to 19.”

She says we’re six weeks away from everybody going back to school and over half of the people going into those schools do not have their second dose.

RELATED: Kids will be back in class this fall, says province’s post-pandemic back-to-school plan

And that’s why the NDP is calling for a school-based vaccination program to be in place come September.

“This is not a call for mandatory vaccinations in those locations. It’s simply a call for a broad well-orchestrated rollout,” she said.

“Parents will have to choose to opt-in whether their children get the vaccine at school or not.”

She says schools already have vaccine campaigns for other illnesses, like hepatitis, meningitis, and Diptheria.

“About 64 per cent of Albertans age 12-17 currently have at least one dose, a number that continues to increase,” said Steve Buick, press secretary to the Minister of Health.

“We encourage all parents with children 12+ to get them vaccinated as soon as possible, and not to wait until September as the NDP is suggesting.”