Earlier than expected allocations of AstraZeneca mean that Saskatchewan is scheduled to receive approximately 55,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine between today and April 7, 2021, including more than 45,000 doses allocated from the United States arriving today. As a result, the Saskatchewan Health Authority is expediting the opening of additional drive thru and walk-in clinics in communities around Saskatchewan to deliver these vaccines including Regina, Saskatoon, Yorkton, Moose Jaw, Weyburn, Swift Current, Prince Albert, Lloydminster and North Battleford.
Clinics will be available to residents 55 years of age and older. All of these clinics will be first come first serve. Clinics in some communities will begin as early as this weekend and added throughout the next week as the clinics are ready to start operating. Targeted start dates of operation are included in a table at bottom of this release. Exact hours of operation and clinic locations will be announced publicly the day before each clinic goes live.
Swift Current’s Walk In Clinic opens on Friday, and a Drive-Thru clinic will be operational on Saturday.
“Vaccinations are the quickest path out of the pandemic event,” Health Minister Paul Merriman said. “We need to provide as many residents with safe and effective immunization as quickly as possible, prioritizing drive thrus for those centres with increased COVID-19 transmission rates.”
“All vaccines approved for use in Canada are safe and all have real-world evidence that they prevent the most serious illness and death caused by COVID-19,” Saskatchewan Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Saqib Shahab said. “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 that 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.”
The drive thru and walk-in clinics being announced today will operate in addition to normal clinics. As of April 2, 2021, Saskatchewan residents 58 and older can book their appointment online 24/7 using their health card at www.saskatchewan.ca/covid19-vaccine; or call 1-833-SASKVAX (1-833-727-5829) between the hours of 8 a.m. and 11 p.m.. Residents of the Northern Administration District 60 and older may also use both the online registration or call to book their appointments; residents of the Northern Administration District 50-59 may book by phone only at this time.
Eligible Phase One health care workers and people with underlying health conditions who are clinically extremely vulnerable can book their vaccination by calling 1-833-SASKVAX (1-833-727-5829) between the hours of 8 a.m. and 11 p.m.. A complete list of extremely clinically vulnerable conditions is available at www.saskachewan.ca/covid19-vaccine.
“As we navigate all the challenges that come with delivering these vaccines as quickly and safely as possible, it is critical for the public to remember that we are ahead of our original schedule at this point,” said Scott Livingstone, CEO, SHA. “We are delivering vaccine to age groups well into phase two, which is a stage originally scheduled to begin in April, proving that the health care teams taking on this challenge are doing everything they can to help create access to the vaccines for every resident of Saskatchewan as soon as possible.”