Lloydminster and North Battleford are expected to see the first drive-thru COVID-19 vaccination clinics open this weekend.

The Saskatchewan Health Authority says these first clinics will open in Regina, Saskatoon, Yorkton, Moose Jaw, Weyburn, Swift Current, Prince Albert, Lloydminster and North Battleford.

They can open earlier because 55,000 expected allocations of the AstraZeneca vaccine will arrive earlier than expected. Of those now coming between today and April 7th, 45,000 have arrived from the United States today.

The clinic here will open on Sunday, April 4th with the exact hours and location coming on Saturday.

The province also announced Friday that the North Battleford drive-thru vaccine clinic will open early, at the Cat Finning building. It will be taking those 55 and older from Saturday, April 3, 2021 through Wednesday, April 7, 2021, and run 8 AM to 8 PM.

Scott Livingstone, CEO of SHA, praised the work of Saskatchewan’s health care workers, who he says have made it that the province can enter Phase Two well ahead of schedule. 

These new clinics will be first available to those 55 years old and over and will be first come first serve. The drive-thru and walk-in clinics being announced today will operate in addition to normal clinics.

In a Thursday press conference, Saskatchewan Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Saqib Shahab called on all residents to get their vaccine when it’s their time.

“The right vaccine for you is the one that is available to you. While Canada has put a pause on offering AstraZeneca to residents younger than 55 until a further safety review is completed, it remains that the risk of adverse effects of all vaccines is very, very low. The benefits of being vaccinated against COVID-19 far outweigh all risks.”

As of April 2nd,  Saskatchewan residents 58 and older can book their appointment online 24/7 using their health card or call 1-833-SASKVAX (1-833-727-5829) between the hours of 8 AM and 11 PM.

Update: This article has been updated to reflect the announcement that the North Battleford drive-thru clinic will open Saturday instead of Sunday, something the SHA announced Friday.