KITCHENER -- The Waterloo Region District School Board has started discussions on how to get shots into the arms of students 12 years of age or older.

Trustees with the board dove into the topic at a meeting Monday night, to determine the best way to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine to eligible students.

The discussions comes just weeks after Health Canada and the provincial government approved the Pfizer vaccine for anyone aged 12 and up.

The public board said they are in active conversations with Region of Waterloo Public Health and believe that having the ability to vaccinate both students and teachers will go a long way in keeping schools safe.

However, a timeline as to when students will get their vaccines is still unclear.

According to the school board, they are contemplating using schools as vaccination clinics.

“Where are parents and students most comfortable in receiving their vaccine and what will create an opportunity where parents will actually take advantage of the week that might be dedicated to this type of vaccine rollout,” said John Bryant, Director of Education for the Waterloo Region District School Board. “We should have that plan fairly shortly.”

Another question raised at Monday night’s meeting was regarding a return to in-person learning before this current school year comes to an end.

Officials with the public board said that unfortunately there is no definitive answer at this time and while they are hopeful students will be able to return this year, the decision is ultimately up to the province.