The Saskatchewan Government reported Tuesday that all long term care homes have received their first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
The province says 100 per cent of these homes have gotten first doses, with 53 per cent getting the second doses. Of the people living in these homes, 91 per cent chose to receive the first dose of vaccine.
The other nine per cent did not for several reasons, the province says, including a change in health status, not being available at the time for their vaccination and in some cases, refusing it entirely. Those residents remain eligible to get the shot when they choose.
In addition to that, the province is also announcing that over 90 per cent of personal care homes have gotten a first dose sent to them, with 43 per cent having their second as well already.
Mental Health and Addictions, Seniors and Rural and Remote Health Minister Everett Hindley says that as vaccine supply expands, it will allow them to get it to all seniors living independently and other priority groups, protecting all groups.
Saskatchewan looking at possibilities for everyone to get their first dose by end of June, potentially easing some health restrictions
Premier Scott Moe also announced on March 2nd that they’ve seen the vaccine supply ramp up, with the province getting more doses on a more consistent basis.
This month, it’s expected that Saskatchewan will get 112,000 doses of Moderna and Pfizer. Along with that, 15,000 doses of the newly approved AstraZeneca vaccine are coming too.
This is more than the total amount of vaccines received thus far, Moe says. He also adds that when this picks up, the Saskatchewan Health Authority will make vaccine appointments online or by telephone for those over 70. They expect to launch the application program by next week.
Dr Saqib Shahab also noted in his remarks they’ve seen a positive impact from the vaccine so far, and promising information from within Canada and the UK about extending a second dose for four months.
By doing this, Dr Shahab explains, it would heavily accelerate the first dose program, potentially allowing most if not all of the province’s residents over 18 to have one by the end of June. It’s something, he says, they’ll be making a decision on within the next week.
Also coming within the next week, Moe adds, is more to say on easing some health restrictions. As case numbers and hospitalizations stabilize and decline, these rules could be relaxed, especially household gatherings. They’ll be watching to make sure this trend is continuing before moving ahead.
He says people should stay the course for now, and that with the proper steps, it could be weeks, not months before life starts to stabilize out again.