Mobile vaccination clinics could be coming to school near you

Students wearing face masks in the classroom. (© Can Stock Photo / halfpoint)

Officials with Chatham-Kent Public Health are mulling over whether or not to have mobile vaccination clinics at schools this fall.

Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Colby said the idea is under consideration because 12 to 17-year-olds are lagging behind other groups in getting their shots. As of Friday, only 50 per cent of the 12-17 population in Chatham-Kent had their first dose and only 27 per cent have had two doses. Colby said he’s certain those numbers will be much higher when school starts because youth are trickling into the Bradley Centre in Chatham to get their vaccines, however, he wants to weigh all options to keep students safe.

“I was there Wednesday night and there were a fair number of young people were there to be vaccinated. So, I do anticipate these numbers increasing but we are looking at the options of taking a mobile vaccination clinic to the schools, absolutely,” said Dr. Colby.

As far as maskless students in the fall, Colby said that’s up to the province. He noted the science table is recommending to the province that if vaccination rates are high then masks should not be necessary for students. Colby said the mask issue will likely be decided on a provincial basis between the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education.

Colby also noted Step 3 of Ontario’s Reopening Plan is going well in Chatham-Kent. He says the public is behaving responsibly as reflected by the low local COVID-19 numbers. Chatham-Kent Public Health reported a total of six active cases on Friday after two new cases and three resolved cases were listed.