Teachers, daycare educators and other staff in contact with school- and daycare-aged children in neighbourhoods where COVID-19 variants have taken hold will be part of targeted vaccination efforts, Montreal public health authorities announced Friday.
The expansion of the initiative — the first of its kind in the city — comes one day after authorities announced parents would be getting their first dose of the vaccine in order to quash transmission in emerging hot spots.
The pilot project targets the Plamondon district in Côte-des-Neiges and the city of Côte Saint-Luc in Montreal. Those two areas have seen a recent surge in novel coronavirus cases linked to variants, which are considered to be more contagious.
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On Thursday, the director of Montreal public health said parents would be vaccinated, but said staff in affected schools and daycares were not part of the plans. The decision to not include teachers prompted criticism and concern from community members.
Dr. Mylène Drouin then announced on social media Friday afternoon the pilot project will now include staff in direct contact with students or children in daycare.
She explained targeting variants in those neighbourhoods is key to keeping the pandemic under control and delaying a potential surge in new cases.
“All of Montreal will benefit from better protection against the third wave,” she wrote.
Anyone who is eligible for the vaccine will be notified by their school to make an appointment.
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