A doctor's lab coat. (Pexels.com)
The first of 150 Saskatchewan mass immunization clinics for COVID-19 was unveiled today, as the province readies to vaccinate the general public.
The first clinic, located at the International Trade Centre at Evraz Place in Regina, will be one of 226 places to get immunized. Of those, 24 drive-through clinics and 61 mobile sites. All three of these options will be available in Lloydminster when Phase Two is in full swing.
When the clinic at Evraz Place is up and running, it is expected to be able to have a maximum of 30 immunization tables as workforce numbers and vaccine supply increase, delivering six to seven shots per hour. The drive-through location is expected to give out 19 shots per hour as well.
During his Tuesday tour, Premier Scott Moe said that he’s confident that when vaccine supplies reach the proper level, they’ll be able to vaccinate as many people as possible, as quickly as possible, and this clinic is one example of that.
The Saskatchewan Health Authority also took some time Tuesday to break down what each type of clinic will look like when people get their shots.
Mass immunization clinics to be the main way public is vaccinated
The SHA will be mostly be giving out vaccines at the 150 mass immunization clinics for major population centres, including the one in Lloydminster.
People can book their appointment over the phone or online, and when it’s their time, they should arrive no more than five minutes beforehand. People will be queued up in a physically distanced way to wait for an available immunizer, which will be marked with a green display sign.
After getting their shot, people will be monitored for 15 to 20 minutes, just like at an influenza clinic, to make sure there’s no adverse reaction to the vaccine.
Also after their vaccination, people will get a card stating they’ve been immunized and when a follow-up shot is required.
This process is the most efficient, the SHA says, and people should expect the whole process to take about a half-hour.
Drive through shots to serve last-minute appointments
Drive through COVID vaccination sites, on the other hand, will mostly serve those with last-minute availability, and will not require an appointment. People going through them should expect longer wait times, as each site will have different capacity.
Once everyone inside the vehicle is vaccinated, they will be brought to another lot that will hold up to 30 vehicles. There, they will also be monitored for 15 to 20 minutes, so that it can be made sure that they don’t have a bad reaction.
Mobile units mostly for rural and remote communities
The third option, mobile clinic units, will mostly be used for remote communities or places, where getting to a drive-thru or mass clinic isn’t as much of an option.
This could mean people living in rural communities, congregate or assisted living homes, First Nations and urban reserves or correctional facilities, for example.
The SHA says this option will work to make sure things like a mental or physical condition, affordability, distance or even apathy aren’t barriers to someone needing to be vaccinated.
Province still shooting for April to begin general vaccination
Phase Two of vaccination has been stated by the Government to begin in April, provided factors like vaccine supply are at the right level.
When it does begin, it will start with the 60 to 69 age group and move down in decade increments. Also included will be people living in group homes, emergency shelters, adults in homes for intellectual disabilities, as well as clinically extremely vulnerable adults.
Details of clinic locations and hours of operation will be available when this phase begins.