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Saskatchewan unveils COVID-19 vaccine roll-out plan

The Government of Saskatchewan says COVID-19 vaccines are on the way for the province.

Health officials will begin rolling out the Pfizer vaccine within this month, with the first phase mapped for targeted vaccination of priority populations, and widespread access to the vaccine in the second phase. Enough vaccines for 1,950 people are expected to arrive December 15th.

The pilot will see the vaccine administered at Regina General Hospital and delivered to health care workers providing direct care to COVID-19 patients. The first recipients of the COVID-19 vaccine will be health care workers in ICUs, Emergency Departments and Covid Units at Regina General and Pasqua Hospitals, along with the staff at testing and assessment centres, the Government says.

Pilot recipients will receive their second dose 21 days following the administration of the first dose.

From there, Phase one will begin for health care workers, elderly residents in care homes, seniors over 80 and residents in northern remote communities. This is expected to start by the end of the month, with 202,052 doses expected within the first quarter of 2021. Breaking this down, the province plans to give out 10,725 doses of Pfizer vaccine a week, with weekly allocations of Moderna currently being finalized.

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They note that these numbers could fluctuate, and could affect sequencing plans.

Phase two of the plan is expected to begin in April 2021,  as health officials continue priority population immunization while also having widespread vaccination for the general population. These vaccines will be given out at public health clinics and other vaccination delivery sites.

Health officials right now are working on plans for safe storage of vaccines, sequenced distribution across the province, , contingency planning, statistical reporting of vaccines administered and ways to get the information about vaccine availability, as well as other relevant and timely information.

“Once mass immunization has occurred, we will all be able to get closer to our normal routines,” Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Saqib Shahab said in a statement. “But in the meantime, everyone must continue following the basic advice – frequent hand-washing, physical distancing, masking and staying home if you have symptoms, and closely following public health orders.”

The plan is being worked out with the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) which negotiates and procures vaccines directly with manufacturers on behalf of provinces and territories.

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