Ontario Education Minister calls on Trudeau gov’t for plan to vaccinate students
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ONTARIO, Canada, March 31, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – Ontario’s Education Minister is calling on Canada’s Federal Government to “start a plan” as “quickly as possible” to have “children and students” vaccinated for the next school year.
“As Canada continues its vaccination efforts for adults, it is critical that we look ahead and apply lessons learned on the importance of forward planning for the procurement and distribution of vaccines for our students and children,” wrote Education Minister Stephen Lecce in a March 26 letter (read full letter here) addressed to three federal ministers, Ahmed Hussen, Patty Hajdu, and Anita Anand.
While Lecce did not explicitly state that receiving a COVID-19 vaccine would be mandatory for children to return to school, he did say that vaccinating “children and students as quickly as possible will help ensure that the next school year is as safe as possible and that our child care sector will be able to remain open.”
“Vaccination of children and students will be a critical part of ending the pandemic and keeping our children safe,” he wrote.
Lecce said this even while admitting the science that shows that COVID-19 poses hardly any risk for younger populations who have almost a 100 percent recovery rate if they contract the virus. The virus mainly affects seniors with co-morbidities.
“Children and young adults often experience milder symptoms of COVID-19 when compared to older adults, but they are not immune,” Lecce said. “They can also spread the disease to those who are vulnerable and at risk: in child care and education settings, in their own households and in the community more broadly.”
Studies have found, however, that children are not the drivers of the pandemic.
A February 2021 research article by researchers in Israel published by Plos Computational Biology found that children and young people are less likely to catch and spread the virus to others when compared to adults.
A December 2020 study from Iceland of 40,000 persons, first published in National Geographic, found that children were half as likely as adults to be infected with COVID-19 and half as likely as adults to transmit the virus to others.
An August 2020 Swedish research paper published in Pediatrics found evidence that children were “not the source of infection and that children most frequently acquire COVID-19 from adults, rather than transmitting it to them.” The article concluded that “children are not significant drivers of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Lecce, in his letter, called on the federal government to “take immediate steps in preparation for the availability of vaccines for children and youth.”
“First, we would call on Minister Anand to ensure that Canada immediately procures a robust supply of vaccine from a diversified range of potential suppliers for children under 16,” he said.
“Second, we ask Health Canada to stand ready to rigorously and rapidly review and, if safe, approve vaccines as companies complete their clinical trials and submit their vaccines for approval,” he added.
According to Harvard Medical School, Pfizer and Moderna are already testing their vaccines on children. Johnson & Johnson plans to do the same. “Currently, the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is authorized for use in children 16 years and older, while the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are authorized for people 18 years and older,” stated Harvard Health Publishing.
The above vaccines are currently approved for use in Canada along with the AstraZeneca vaccine. Canada suspended the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine this week for people under the age of 55 after a link was discovered between the vaccine and a blood clotting disorder that resulted in a number of deaths internationally.
Parents who are worried about their children being forced to receive the experimental COVID vaccines in order to attend school may not see their fears realized. According to data compiled by Bloomberg, Canada currently stands at 20 in global rankings of doses per 100 people with currently enough doses to vaccinate only about 7 percent of the population. Ontario’s Premier Doug Ford last week criticized the federal government’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout, saying that Prime Minister Trudeau has “dropped the ball.”
LifeSiteNews has produced an extensive COVID-19 vaccines resources page. View it here.