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Eastern Ontario Heath Unit to hold high school COVID-19 vaccine clinics when students return

Medical Officer of Health Dr. Paul Roumeliotis says the goal is to remove all barriers for young people to get their vaccines. 
Youth vaccination
Young people in B.C. born in 2009 or earlier are now eligible for their COVID-19 vaccines, and Fraser Health is hosting a virtual townhall on Thursday, June 3 to offer information about the process.

The Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) will set up COVID-19 vaccination clinics in schools this fall to provide access to shots for students who still haven't received their first doses.

"[We're] working with the school boards to identify areas that require it and, just like we do now with pop-up clinics, we're doing the same to get that 10-16 per cent that we still need to get," explains Medical Officer of Health Dr. Paul Roumeliotis.
 
The doctor says the goal with in-school vaccination clinics is to remove all barriers for youth to get the vaccine. Despite the push for students to get vaccinated, there's still a major gap when it comes to kids under the age of 12

"There likely will be the extension of the approval to 5-years and above for the Pfizer vaccine," Dr. Roumeliotis says. "Likely it will happen sometime during the school year, like closer to the end of the school year, but Pfizer will, at some point, submit for Health Canada approval."

Once the vaccine gets approved for 5-year-olds, he says the EOHU is equipped to move quickly into elementary schools to start administering COVID-19 vaccines.

For now, the EOHU's top doctor says the in-school vaccinations clinics will be able to open as soon as students start heading back to class. 

The health unit has already re-directed nursing staff to the clinics. Dr. Roumeliotis says they will play a vital role this upcoming school year, in terms of administering the vaccines, informing students and teachers who have questions, and, most importantly, keeping a close eye on community transmission and outbreaks in schools.

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