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Vaccination pop-up clinics rolling out to Shuswap schools

Clinics to begin Sept. 17 in Salmon Arm,

Interior Health has announced vaccination clinics planned for Shuswap schools.

The first one will take place at the Storefront Alternate School in Salmon Arm between 10 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. After that, they are scheduled as follows:

• Ranchero - Sept. 21, 12:15 to 2:45 p.m.;

• South Canoe, Sept. 22, 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.;

• Salmon Arm Secondary, Sullivan, Sept. 24, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.;

• Eagle River Secondary, Sept. 27, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.;

• Silver Creek Elementary, Sept. 28, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.;

• Carlin Elementary Middle School, Sept. 29, 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.;

• Salmon Arm Secondary, Jackson, Oct. 1, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

In a Sept. 9 message to parents, guardians and caregivers, School District 83 Superintendent Donna L. Kriger, stated the province had requested school districts cooperate with their local health regions to accommodate pop-up vaccination clinics at some school sites for families and students who are 12 years of age and older.

Kriger’s message, shared on the school district’s website, includes links to information from Interior Health and the BC Centre for Disease Control around the virus, including a link to information around “mature minor consent.”

According to HealthLinkBC, under the B.C. Infants Act, children may consent to a medical treatment on their own so long as the health-care provider is sure the treatment is in the child’s best interest, and the child understands the details of the treatment, including risks and benefits.

It is up to the health-care provider to assess and ensure the child’s understanding of the treatment.

Mature minor consent is the consent a child gives to receive health care after the child has been assessed by a health-care provider as having the necessary understanding to give the consent.

A child who is a mature minor may make their own health-care decisions independent of their parents’ or guardians’ wishes.

In B.C. there is no set age when a child is considered capable to give consent. However, HealthLinkBC says common practice is for parents or guardians of children in Grade 6 to give consent for their child to be immunized.

Children in Grade 9 and older are given the opportunity to consent for themselves.

“If a child refuses a vaccine for which their parent or guardian has consented, they must be informed of the risks of not having it.”

ImmunizeBC recommends parents/guardians/caregivers discuss discuss consent around immunizations with their children. Kriger advised the same.

“I would ask that you carefully read the documents we are sharing on behalf of Interior Health,” said Kriger. “As an educational organization we believe parents/guardians/caregivers play an important and necessary role in educating their child(ren). As a result, I ask that you take the time to discuss the topic of vaccination with your child(ren).”

Editor’s note: The above story has been amended regarding a clinic scheduled for Parkview Elementary in Sicamous on Sept. 23, which will not be taking place at the school as per Interior Health’s list of planned K-12 School Clinics, but at the Health Unit at the Parkland Shopping Centre from 2 to 4 p.m.

Read more: No daytime custodial shifts for North Okanagan-Shuswap elementary schools

Read more: Unvaccinated Armstrong grad students asked to stay home due to COVID school cluster
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