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Saskatchewan’s first immunizations against COVID-19 begin

Immunization against COVID-19 has begun in Saskatchewan, starting off with a two hospital vaccine pilot project.

It was previously announced that the first round of vaccines, delivered to the province on December 15th would be given out at two hospitals, Regina General Hospital and Pasqua Hospital. In total, 1,950 people, made up of front-line health care workers in ICUs, Emergency Departments and Covid Units will be vaccinated over the next few days, starting at 6 PM on December 15th.

Among those will be Critical Care Physician Dr Jeffrey Betcher, who will be the first vaccinated, along with Emergency Room Nurse Leah Sawatsky.

A box of COVID-19 vaccines. [ Saskatchewan Government, supplied]
Betcher said in a statement that accepting the vaccine is part of his responsibility as a physician,  protecting himself,  patients, colleagues, friends and family. He also noted that despite the vaccine beginning to arrive in Saskatchewan, people should not get complacent in the fight against COVID-19, and continue good health tips like physical distancing, handwashing and staying home if sick.

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All of these workers vaccinated will receive another shot 21 days later. After this, Phase One of the vaccine distribution will kick off, immunizing priority populations who are at a higher risk of exposure to the virus. The province says they’ll be working with the Saskatchewan Health Authority, Athabasca Health Authority, and First Nations Jurisdictions to deliver the COVID-19 vaccine to priority populations.

Full vaccination access for the entire province is anticipated to begin in April of 2021. In the meantime, officials are planning for the logistics of transporting, storing and distributing the vaccine as it becomes available.

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