Accelerating COVID-19 Vaccination in Saskatchewan

Ages 60-64 among those to receive AstraZeneca, all adults in Saskatchewan to have access to first dose by June

March 5, 2021, 12:06 pm


With expected deliveries of AstraZeneca in March, Saskatchewan residents ages 60-64 and phase one priority health care workers will be offered the first 15,500 doses. Making vaccines available to the 60-64 age sequence group is being done as an exception to phase one criteria to align with the National Advisory Committee's recommendation that AstraZeneca supply be targeted to those under 65.

"Saskatchewan is leading the nation in vaccine delivery and the promise of a predictable and increasing supply will ensure that every resident who wants a vaccine will be able to receive one that much faster," Health Minister Paul Merriman said. "Based on the evidence, we will see protection for our general population increase, protecting those of us at highest risk."

Administration of the AstraZenca doses will begin March 22, distributed to six major hubs throughout the province.

All doses are expected to be fully administered within one week on a by-appointment basis. Health care workers will receive notification of their eligibility directly from the Saskatchewan Health Authority. Members of the public who are eligible will be able to book by phone.

The phone-in booking system is undergoing final testing in preparation of being launched next week. Saskatchewan Health is asking people to not call 811 seeking a vaccination appointment; details on the booking process will be announced.

Second Doses for Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca at Four Months

The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) has updated their recommendation on the interval between the first and second doses of authorized COVID-19 vaccines in the context of limited vaccine supply. Based on the evidence by NACI and its expertise in vaccine science, they are recommending that jurisdictions should maximize the number of people benefiting from the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by extending the interval between the first and second dose up to four months, in the context of limited COVID-19 vaccine supply.

"Implementing the new NACI guidelines in Saskatchewan means that all Saskatchewan residents should have access to their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by the end of June," Merriman said. "This will speed up both our administration of vaccines, and our return to normal."

The province of Saskatchewan will be implementing this recommendation starting Friday, March 5. Beginning March 5, all vaccines administered will be a first dose, with second doses administered at an interval of four months, in alignment with the NACI recommendations. Residents will be contacted when they are eligible to book their second dose appointment, based on completing the vaccination sequencing and supply.

Note that this delayed second dose strategy does not apply to long-term care and personal care residents and staff who have yet to receive their full two-dose series and any existing second-dose appointments. Existing, scheduled appointments for second doses will be completed as scheduled.

Based on current allocations of COVID-19 vaccines from the federal government and the updated four month interval recommendation from NACI, it is anticipated that every adult in Saskatchewan will be able to access their first dose by the end of June.