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ETFO offers full support to Public Health Units who have been left to lead Ontario’s vaccination roll-out

February 25, 2021

Toronto, ON – Given that the Ford government has downloaded the COVID-19 vaccination roll-out to Public Health Units (PHUs), the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) is offering its full support to already-overwhelmed PHUs.

“The distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine will be a significant challenge and I want to pledge ETFO’s full support,” says ETFO President. “Throughout the pandemic, ETFO has been in constant contact with members, sending regular email updates, holding telephone town hall meetings, and responding to a multitude of issues and questions from our 83,000 members. When the vaccine is available to educators, ETFO is ready to provide any support that is needed.”

The provincial government downloaded the responsibility to keep Ontario’s schools safe to local school boards, and did not provide the necessary funding or resources. While the government now appears to be avoiding responsibility for leading vaccination efforts, ETFO has confidence in PHUs.

“We appreciate that COVID-19 vaccination will be voluntary, but anticipate that educators, particularly those working in schools, will be eager to get vaccinated,” adds Hammond. “We fully understand that early efforts will be focused on making the vaccine available to the most vulnerable populations, in line with federal and provincial guidelines. However, we expect that educators will be included in phase two of the roll-out as previously announced by the government.”

Throughout this school year, ETFO members have been doing their absolute best under exceptionally difficult circumstances to keep everyone in public schools safe and healthy. Notes Hammond, “Public servants and front-line workers, who have maintained services throughout this pandemic, are ready to support PHUs’ important work.”

ETFO represents 83,000 elementary public school teachers, occasional teachers and education professionals across the province. Its Building Better Schools education agenda can be viewed at BuildingBetterSchools.ca.

For more information, contact:
Carla Pereira, ETFO Media Relations, 416-576-9074, cpereira@etfo.org