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Letter from ETFO to Public Health Units in support of your vaccination efforts

February 25, 2021

Medical Officers of Health
Ontario Public Health Units

Dear Medical Officers of Health:

On behalf of the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) and our 83,000 members, I want to thank you for all your work during this unprecedented public health crisis.

Throughout this school year, ETFO members have been doing their absolute best under exceptionally difficult circumstances to keep everyone in our public schools safe and healthy. The provincial government downloaded the responsibility to keep our schools safe to local school boards and did not provide necessary resources. While the government now appears to be avoiding responsibility for leading the vaccination efforts, we have confidence in the public health units.

The distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine will be a significant challenge and I want to pledge our full support. 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 members. Be assured that when the vaccine is available to educators, ETFO is ready to provide any support needed.

To that end, we would appreciate any information that the public health unit can provide regarding the plan for vaccine distribution as it becomes available.

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. As you work during Phase 2 to make vaccines available to workers providing front-line services, including educators, we want to be ready to support those efforts.

We appreciate that COVID-19 vaccination will be voluntary and that is a positive approach to public health. We would however anticipate that educators, particularly those working in schools, will be eager to get vaccinated.

You and your colleagues have a monumental challenge ahead of you, but please know that the public servants and front-line workers who have maintained services throughout this pandemic are ready to support your important work.


Sam Hammond,


Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario

Fédération des enseignantes et des enseignants de l'élémentaire de l'Ontario

136 Isabella St.

Toronto ON M4Y 0B5

Telephone: 416-962-3836 Tollfree: 1-888-838-3836

Fax: 416-642-2424