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Delta teachers, police among the next COVID-19 vaccine priorty groups

Up until now it was not clear when police and teachers would get a COVID-19 vaccine shot
delta police chief neil dubord file photograph
Delta Police Chief Neil Dubord said there was some confusion whether his officers would be able to get a COVID-19 immunization shot.

Delta police officers and teachers will soon be able to get a COVID-19 vaccine.

The B.C. Ministry of Health on Thursday announced that more than 300,000 front-line workers, including first responders, grocery store employees, teachers and child care workers, will be eligible for vaccinations over the coming weeks.

Beginning in April, people in the next priority groups identified by public health and the COVID-19 Workplace Task Group will start to receive their first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Among those groups are first responders, such as police, firefighters and emergency transport personnel, as well as K-12 educational staff.

Chief Neil Dubord, during the Delta Police Board meeting Wednesday, said there was some confusion late last week regarding the vaccine rollout among his force which needed clarification.

He noted that earlier this week he talked with Fraser Health president and CEO Dr. Victoria Lee to get clarity and a better understanding of what police officers can expect.

Dubord said that while police officers weren’t part of the first priority groups, he expected that to change in the coming weeks.

Those representing the RCMP also raised concern about police officers having to wait to get vaccinated.

In a statement earlier this week, Brian Sauvé, president of the National Police Federation, representing RCMP officers across Canada, urged the B.C. government to prioritize access to COVID-19 vaccinations for officers.

Meanwhile, the B.C. Teachers Federation on Thursday, said they were pleased to hear that teachers will be among the next priority groups.

“The last year has been incredibly stressful on everyone in the school system. Like all British Columbians, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought stress, anxiety, and even grief to our personal and professional lives. I join all of my teacher colleagues in expressing huge relief that educators across BC will be prioritized in April to receive a COVID-19 vaccine,” BCTF Teri Mooring noted in a statement.

Her statement goes on to note that while they wait for more details and timelines over the next few days, she also wants to thank the new Minister of Education, Jennifer Whiteside, who has been working hard with the BCTF.