Saskatchewan is ending booked appointments and drive-thrus for the COVID-19 vaccine after August 8th, shifting where people can get vaccinated to walk-in clinics in public venues.
The province says COVID-19 vaccination numbers are allowing health officials to move from mass vaccination to focused outreach, getting doses to those who are under and unvaccinated. As of July 26th, 74 per cent of residents eligible have gotten a first COVID-19 vaccine, and 62 per cent are fully vaccinated.
After August 8th, people will be able to walk in and get either their first or second shots at post-secondary campuses and select retail locations, including grocery stores. Participating pharmacies will also still be giving out vaccines by appointment.
Vaccination stations will show up at planned summer events, pow wows, provincial parks, and recreations areas as well, among other spots.
Health Minister Paul Merriman says this is just a change in how vaccines are delivered. It does not mean the end of COVID-19 vaccinations being available, and instead, it allows the provinces to meet residents where they work, live and play when they chose to get vaccinated.
The province explains that vaccination could be worked into pre-vacation plans this way as well, and residents could even have the option of being vaccinated at a local clinic while on their trip should they choose.
Saskatchewan Health Authority Emergency Operation Centre Vaccine Chief Sheila Anderson says they’re still encouraging people to get vaccinated whenever they are eligible, as even through progress made on vaccination, COVID-19 is still here and cases will still impact people, especially those not vaccinated.
Leading up to the August 8th switch, people will still have the option to get vaccinated at a booked appointment, drive-thru or walk-in in several communities. Lloydminster is included, having all of these options open on July 26th and 27th.
Clinic dates will continue to be listed on the SHA website.