Mount Baker Secondary School in Cranbrook.

COVID-19 vaccine clinics to be held in select local schools

Students in Cranbrook and Kimberley can get immunized against COVID-19 right in their school at certain dates over the next two weeks.

In Cranbrook, dates for COVID-19 shots are available at Laurie Middle School on Sept. 23 from 12:45 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Parkland Middle School will be having a clinic on Sept. 21 from 12 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

At Mount Baker Secondary School and Kootenay Education Services, a clinic will be available this week on Sept. 14-15 from 12:45 p.m. to 3:45 p.m.

Up in Kimberley, clinics will be available at Kimberley Alternate School on Sept 23, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

McKim Middle School is holding a clinic on Sept 23, from 1:30 p.m. to 3:45 p.m.

Selkirk Secondary School is also holding clinics; on Sept. 15 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and Sept. 16 from 1:45 p.m. to 3:45 p.m.

In Cranbrook, between the ages of 12-17, 65 per cent have had a first dose and 52 per cent have had a second dose, according to BC CDC vaccination rates. In Kimberley, in the same age range, 71 per cent have had a first dose, and 59 per cent have had a second dose.

Aside from COVID-19, students typically receive routine vaccinations for Hepatitis B, HPV, Varicella (chickenpox) and Tdap, which covers tentanus, diptheria, and pertusis.

A COVID-19 immunization is not mandatory for students and staff in schools. However, the mature minor consent provision under the Infants Act is the consent a child gives to receive health care after being assessed by a health care provider and understands the nature of the health care service being provided.

During a school board meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 14, Board Chair Frank Lento noted that the school immunization clinics are being implemented and operated by Public Health, and not by district staff.