Board will not require proof of vaccination for staff

November 3, 2021

At an in-camera meeting on November 2nd, the Abbotsford Board of Education deliberated on the implications of a potential proof of vaccine mandate for all K-12 staff. After careful consideration and discussion, and following the K-12 Sector Guidelines for Vaccination Policies document, the Abbotsford Board of Education has decided not to mandate proof of vaccination for staff.

"With multiple layers of protection currently in place throughout all of our buildings, we know that our schools are low-risk settings for transmission. Furthermore, our public health experts have confirmed that our schools are not a primary source of COVID-19 spread," noted Dr. Stan Petersen, Chair for the Abbotsford Board of Education.

Last month, school leaders met with Fraser Health's Medical Health Officer to gather health information, review school data, and discuss the operational impacts of a vaccine mandate. Public Health Officials noted that a vaccine mandate for all K-12 staff would have a limited impact on transmission rates and potentially exacerbate inequities for some. They recommended that school districts use less invasive measures such as promoting vaccinations among eligible staff and students.

"Vaccine mandates are one of many interventions available, and we whole-heartedly encourage all who are eligible to get vaccinated," said Petersen. "However, we must also use the data and recommendations from our health professionals to guide us, and our decision today takes into account the most current information provided by these experts."

The Board will continue to monitor information from our local health authorities and support vaccination efforts by collaborating with Fraser Health to host clinics and promote vaccination to our school communities.