Immunization of 1,950 Health Care Workers Begins
The first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have arrived in Saskatchewan. Immunization of 1,950 health care workers is beginning today at Regina General Hospital at 6 p.m., as part of a pilot to test the delivery and storage processes for the Pfizer vaccine.
This is the first step of the government’s phased approach to delivering the COVID-19 vaccination to Saskatchewan people.
“Today is an incredibly exciting day in our fight against COVID-19, as nearly 2,000 people who have been on the front-lines delivering care since the beginning of the pandemic start being immunized with their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine,” Premier Scott Moe said. “As the first health care workers in Saskatchewan receive the vaccine, I encourage all Saskatchewan residents to get vaccinated, when the vaccine is made available to them.”
The first recipients of the vaccine through the pilot are health care workers in ICUs, Emergency Departments and Covid Units at Regina General and Pasqua Hospitals and staff at testing and assessment centres. The immunizations will take place over a number of days. Pilot recipients will receive their second dose 21 days following the administration of the first dose.
“I have seen the devastating effects of COVID-19 on the patients I have cared for in the intensive care unit, as well as its effects on their families,” Critical Care Physician Dr. Jeffrey Betcher said. “Accepting the vaccine is part of my responsibility as a physician. It will protect me, my patients, my colleagues, friends and family.”
Dr. Betcher is to be among the first health care workers to receive the vaccine in Saskatchewan.
Phase 1 of the Vaccine Delivery Plan focuses on immunizing priority populations who are at a higher risk of exposure to the virus as well as those more at risk of serious illness, and will begin later this month. The Ministry of Health will work with the Saskatchewan Health Authority, Athabasca Health Authority, and First Nations Jurisdictions to deliver the COVID-19 vaccine to priority populations.
Officials are planning for the logistics of transporting, storing and distributing the vaccine as it becomes available. The second phase of the Vaccine Delivery Plan is anticipated to begin in April, 2021 and will continue priority population immunization while providing widespread vaccine access to immunize the general population.
Dr. Betcher reminded people not to become complacent because of the vaccine’s arrival, noting that it is critical to continue following public health orders and practicing the basics including, frequent hand-washing, physical distancing, masking and staying home if you have symptoms.
For more information on Saskatchewan’s COVID-19 vaccine planning, visit https://saskatchewan.ca/COVID19/vaccine.
General public inquiries may be directed to [email protected].