Noon-hour supervisor and crossing guard Cathy Gordon-Findley gets a flu shot from registered nurse Karen Fraser at the Sooke School District office last week. Employees were taking advantage of a district immunization program.

Sooke School District mindful of flu season

Teachers, support staff, administrators take part in immunization program

It’s getting close to flu season.

As such, Sooke School District employees are lining up lately for free flu shots at schools and offices across the district.

District superintendent Jim Cambridge said the immunization clinics are an investment in the health of the community.

“It is super important to keep our employees healthy … simply because we have so many  kids,” he said. “We are a people business. There’s 9,400 students in our school district and 2,000 employees. There are a lot of people involved.”

Approximately 30 per cent of the district’s employees, including bus drivers, support staff, teachers and administrators, participate in the voluntary free program.

While Cambridge said he hoped to see more people participate in this program, many receive flu shots elsewhere, such as from their doctor, at a walk-in clinic, at public flu shot clinics or from a pharmacist.

The district, which does not mandate that employees get a flu shot or wear a mask during flu season – unlike Island Health for health-care workers – does not keep track of the total number immunized.

“It makes sense economically to invest in (preventative health care) and methods such as this to keep our employees working,” Cambridge said.

“Then we don’t have to replace as many employees (when they’re sick). Therefore, we have more money to spend on additional employees or resources for classrooms.”

Noon-time supervisor and crossing guard Cathy Gordon-Findley got her flu shot Oct. 17, saying it was something she needed to do given the nature of her work.

“I work with the young children every day and they always have runny noses and things going on,” she said.

“So to protect my health and not give them anything from me, I thought it would be important to have a shot. To anybody out there, don’t be scared, get a shot, be prepared.”

alim@goldstreamgazette.com