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Saskatchewan to soon begin vaccinating all first responders, remaining health care workers, pharmacists

Saskatchewan is planning to begin vaccinating more healthcare workers and first responders in the coming weeks.

On April 12th, the Government announced the Saskatchewan Health Authority’s mobile immunization units have finished vaccinating home, shelter staff and residents at select congregate living settings, they’ll be moving right into first responders.

The mobile units will travel to the workplace of police officers, firefighters and public safety inspectors for targeted vaccination. Paramedics were already being vaccinated under phase one.

This is expected to begin within two weeks of finishing vaccination at the previously mentioned homes.

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Health Minister Paul Merriman says that these mobile units will be able to get these groups vaccinated without compromising the main mass vaccination capacity that is still following age-based vaccine delivery.

The province says Public Health regularly looks to first responders for enforcement of public health orders, and this is another step to limit the possible transmission of COVID-19.

The first of the immunizations under this plan have been given out already, to police officers in Regina this weekend at the drive-thru site at Evraz Place, during periods of low waiting time.

Remaining health care workers to be vaccinated using remaining phase one doses

When the province did their phase one prioritization framework, 40,500 health care workers were prioritized for the COVID-19 vaccine.

Of these priority doses, 27,348 or 67 per cent have been taken up. Now, the remaining 13,152 first-doses will be given out to medical workers not included in this first phase.

Eligible SHA healthcare workers and physicians will receive a notice and a letter of eligibility via the College of Physicians and Surgeons for doctors or the SHA, directing them to book a vaccination appointment by telephone.  These workers may include:

  • outpatient and community services staff
  • nurses
  • pharmacists
  • therapy staff
  • mental health professionals
  • social workers
  • housekeeping
  • dietary
  • ward support staff

All physicians were included in priority sequencing, because they may be called in to help in clinical care areas and surge capacity needs.

Pharmacists set to join in on vaccine delivery by the end of the month

The province also announced Monday that pharmacists will start giving out vaccines on April 26th.

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In addition to providing increased access to the general public, pharmacists will be giving out vaccines to pharmacy and grocery staff working in the store they’re working in.

Minister Merriman adds that once these pharmacies or attached grocery spaces start doing this, they could see an increased risk of COVID-19 and this will help cut that down.

This will open to all staff at one of these locations, and pharmacies will require proof of employment there before giving out a vaccine to them.

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