VANCOUVER -- People who work in Vancouver schools will soon have the opportunity to get vaccinated against COVID-19, according to a letter from the superintendent of the city’s school district.

Suzanne Hoffman’s letter to school board staff indicates that Vancouver Coastal Health will begin providing vaccinations to all staff in all school districts within the health authority this Friday, April 16.

“Beginning this weekend and continuing on a week-by-week basis thereafter, VCH will identify and contact staff at school and district sites to let them know that it is their turn to book an appointment,” Hoffman’s letter reads.

All Vancouver School Board staff are eligible to be vaccinated, regardless of their role, according to Hoffman.

“Please be aware that these vaccination appointments are intended for people who have not already received a first dose as part of the province’s vaccination plan,” the letter reads.

B.C. teachers were among the groups that were promised early vaccination using doses of AstraZeneca vaccine, but that program was put on hold while health officials awaited updated guidance. The AstraZeneca vaccine is only being administered to those ages 55 and up in B.C. because of reports of very rare blood clotting associated with the vaccine.

Hoffman’s letter does not indicate which COVID-19 vaccine will be made available to VSB staff, but it does say that the health authority “has secured a supply of vaccines” for the program.

On Wednesday, Health Canada announced that it had reviewed the link between the AstraZeneca vaccine and blood clots and determined that the vaccine is safe to use. Now, the National Council on Immunizations is reviewing Health Canada’s findings and deciding whether to change its current recommendation that only those 55 and older receive the vaccine. 

Vaccine clinics for VSB workers will be held outside of school hours on evenings and weekends, according to Hoffman.

“When their school or work site is identified as being next, staff at the site will be provided the necessary information on how to book an appointment, what documents to bring and the location(s) of the vaccination clinics,” she said.