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Richmond School Board opts not to mandate COVID-19 vaccine

By Richmond Sentinel

Published 1:16 PST, Thu November 25, 2021

The COVID-19 vaccine will not be mandatory for Richmond School District employees.

Last month, the board directed staff to gather and analyze data relevant to a potential employee vaccination policy. Staff reported back yesterday, and the board made a decision.

The board considered the information from staff as well as Vancouver Coastal Health, the B.C. Centre for Disease Control, the Ministry of Education and the B.C. Public School Employers' Association. Information that was considered by the board included:

• Case rates of COVID-19 in the Metro Vancouver area

Vaccination rates for those aged twelve and above in the Metro Vancouver area

• School exposure/transmission data

• Guidance from public health officials

"Since the beginning of the pandemic, the board has prioritized the health and safety of all students, staff and parents,” said board chair Sandra Nixon. “After careful consideration of the information that was provided, the Richmond Board of Education has decided that a vaccine mandate will not be implemented."

The board will continue to encourage all eligible members of the community to be vaccinated against COVID-19 as per the advice of public health officials. Vaccines reduce transmission and reduce complications of COVID-19 if contracted.

The board remains committed to the health and safety of the community and will continue to have a rigorous focus on health and safety measures across the district. The district will also continue to work collaboratively with the Ministry of Education and Vancouver Coastal Health in making decisions and sharing new information as it becomes available.

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