Board Reviewing Implications of a Potential COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate

October 15, 2021

At the October 12th Board Meeting, the Abbotsford Board of Education passed a motion to direct staff to review and report on the implications of a vaccine mandate for all K-12 staff.

"We have been advised that the Ministry of Education has convened an advisory committee with partners in the sector to develop common principles, standards and guidelines," said Dr. Stan Petersen, Chair for the Abbotsford Board of Education. "This committee will support boards of education with their decision-making regarding the potential implementation of vaccine mandates."

The Abbotsford School District will wait until the advisory committee completes this work before making any decisions on the subject, but the Board has also asked district staff to liaise with health and legal experts.

"We've heard time and again from our medical professionals - getting immunized is a crucial step that each of us needs to take for the health and safety of our community," says Petersen. "Mandating vaccines for all staff in our district would be a significant step, with many implications. As the employer, our Board understands that we must approach this issue carefully and thoughtfully, and we want to ensure we have done our due diligence on this topic before making a final decision."

Last week, the provincial government launched a task force to support districts considering vaccine mandates for staff. The task force includes the B.C. Public School Employers' Association, the Ministry of Education and the B.C. School Trustees Association.

The Superintendent of Schools will bring a report back to the Board for a full and comprehensive discussion as the provincial framework develops and further information is collected.