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94% of B.C. teachers are fully vaccinated, union’s survey suggests

Click to play video: 'BCTF survey finds 94 per cent of teachers fully vaccinated' BCTF survey finds 94 per cent of teachers fully vaccinated
A BCTF survey has found the vast majority of the province's teachers have been vaccinated, but that still means approximately 1500 are not. Aaron McArthur reports – Oct 27, 2021

Nearly all of the 45,000 teachers represented by the BC Teachers’ Federation are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to the union.

A survey of its members suggests 94 per cent of teachers have two doses, and one per cent have a single dose but intend to get a second.

Two per cent of teachers surveyed were unvaccinated and two per cent didn’t answer the question.

“From the beginning, B.C. teachers have been doing their part to keep their students and schools safe,” said president Terri Mooring in a Tuesday news release.

“We have known anecdotally that vaccine uptake among teachers was extremely high, and can now confirm.”

Read more: British Columbians to be eligible for COVID-19 booster shot 6 to 8 months after second dose

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Eighty-two per cent of unionized teachers also support a province-wide vaccine mandate for their profession and all adults working in B.C. schools, the federation added.

“Any vaccine mandate in K to 12 must be province-wide,” said Mooring. “A district by district patchwork approach does not make sense.”

Click to play video: 'COVID-19: BCTF warns teachers of mandatory vaccines, Thanksgiving safety reminders' COVID-19: BCTF warns teachers of mandatory vaccines, Thanksgiving safety reminders
COVID-19: BCTF warns teachers of mandatory vaccines, Thanksgiving safety reminders – Oct 8, 2021

Between Sept. 22 and Oct. 11, a random sample of roughly 6,200 teachers completed the union’s survey.

The final analytical sample was made up of responses from just under 6,000 of them, with data weighted to ensure its proportions of gender, age and regional health zone representation matches the proportions of the union’s membership.

The survey addressed four key themes: gaps in measures to keep people safe, how teachers are doing their part, the impact of COVID-19 on teacher wellbeing, and its impact on recruitment and retention.

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Read more: B.C. outlines steps for schools districts wishing to mandate vaccine for staff

In addition to shedding light on vaccination rates, the survey suggests 79 per cent of teachers feel their mental health has declined over the course of the pandemic.

“These responses are particularly significant as this is the third survey that has shown the same result over two school years,” said Mooring.

Only 46 per cent of teachers feel safe at work, she added, and 71 per cent of respondents said they’re not getting enough information about COVID-19 cases and exposures at school.

Another 62 per cent reported a lack of information on ventilation in schools, and the union once again called on the education ministry to publicly report school ventilation data.

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