With Niagara Region schools set to return, only 2.6% of 5-11 year olds fully vaxxed

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Published January 14, 2022 at 1:32 pm

When in-class learning returns to Niagara Region on Monday (January 17), only a tiny amount of five to 11 year olds are fully vaccinated.

With Omicron tearing its way through Niagara, the most vulnerable students, those aged five to 11 years old, only have 2.6 per cent been given full vaccinations.

That said, since vaccinations only started for that age group at the beginning of December, that number comes as little surprise. The age group is just now approaching the time period needed between first and second shots.

At least 42.6 per cent of the age group have had their first shots (roughly the Ontario average), though that still leaves 57.4 per cent completely unvaccinated.

Things are a lot better for Niagara’s high school students age 12 to 17. Almost 81 per cent have had their first shots while 77 per cent have been double-jabbed.

The removal of the COVID-19 daily cases from the school boards’ websites dictated by the province is already a cause for concern for many parents who will now have to count on their children’s school to tell them if there have been fresh outbreaks of the virus within their walls.

Given the dramatic increase in new cases due to the Omicron variant, many school boards across Ontario – including Toronto and Ottawa-Carleton – are forewarning parents that classes could be closed instantly should there be any concerns.

While neither the District School Board of Niagara nor the Niagara Catholic District School have given any official statement on the potential of closing classes, it is being anticipating by many board that a large number could be closed within the first two weeks of in-school activity across Ontario.

As well, all boards are anticipating losing teachers and school staffers to COVID-19 safety protocols.

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