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TDSB wants COVID-19 shot added to mandatory list of vaccines for school-aged kids

The Toronto District School Board building is seen in a photo posted on June 23, 2017. HANDOUT/Twitter

The Toronto District School Board is calling on the province to add the COVID-19 vaccine to the list of compulsory vaccinations kids need to have in order to attend school.

The request comes in the form of a letter from TDSB chair Alexander Brown to Education Minister Stephen Lecce, Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kieran Moore and Toronto Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa.

“We are asking that COVID-19 vaccinations be added to the list of compulsory vaccinations for all eligible students,” reads the letter posted on the board’s website Friday. “This would further protect our students, staff and their families from the virus and help keep our schools open, which is of the utmost importance to the learning and well-being of our students.”

Brown points out that the board recently passed a motion to develop a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination procedure which would cover all TDSB staff, trustees and visitors, requiring them to provide proof of vaccination status.

Brown adds the Ontario Public School Boards’ Association also supports such a move, pointing to a statement released back on August 17.

Currently, students attending primary or secondary school must be immunized against designated diseases, unless they have a valid exemption. These include polio, measles, mumps, rubella, whooping cough, chickenpox, tetanus, diphtheria and meningococcal disease.

At the moment, the COVID-19 vaccine from either Pfizer or Moderna have been approved for children aged 12 years and up.