Sask. to begin administering COVID-19 vaccine second doses mid-May; youth 12 and up added to rollout

Saskatchewan residents 85 and older or those who received their first dose before Feb. 15 will be able to book their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine starting May 17.

Second shots will be distributed according to the age-based and priority sequencing of first doses. Priority for second doses will also be given to those diagnosed with or being treated for cancer and those who have received solid organ transplants.

The provincial government shared in a release on Thursday that second doses will overlap with the completion of first shots as they anticipate people over 18 years old will be eligible to receive the vaccine by the end of May.

“There will still be people receiving their first doses as we begin to offer second doses to those residents in the order of priority that we started our provincial vaccination program,” stated Health Minister Paul Merriman in Thursday’s release. “But with a reliable vaccine supply and the exceptional capacity we have built in Saskatchewan, we will start booking those second doses and ensure full immunity to every resident who chooses to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Vaccination is our path out of the pandemic.”

Second doses will be accessible at participating pharmacies in the vaccine rollout strategy, through the Saskatchewan Health Authority patient booking system online or by phone, drive-thru and walk-in clinics and through clinics operated by Indigenous Services Canada and the Northern Inter-tribal Health Authority.

The government says it is starting second doses at an interval of 13 weeks or sooner based on vaccine availability from the federal government. Notification of second dose eligibility will occur through broad public communication.

Residents 12 and up included in vaccine rollout

The Ministry of Health and SHA are adding Saskatchewan youth 12 years and older to the province’s vaccination sequencing program. About 91,000 more people will be eligible to get vaccinated due to this expansion.

First doses are expected to be administered for eligible youth by the end of June. The government adds that parental consent will be required.

Delivery of these vaccines is expected to happen in school-based programs, pharmacies or SHA clinics before the end of the school year. Details are being finalized on how these programs will occur.

Individuals 12 to 15 who are considered clinically extremely vulnerable are immediately eligible to receive the Pfizer vaccine. Clinically extremely vulnerable individuals ages 16 to 17 have been eligible since April 14.

Parents whose children are eligible as clinically extremely vulnerable, will require a letter for presentation at time of immunization.  For youth receiving Rituximab and Ocrelizumab, you need to obtain a letter from your physician and physicians have been provided a template for this use. For youth with a cancer diagnosis or in treatment or have received a solid organ transplant, this letter will come from the provincial government.

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