All residents 40+ to become eligible for vaccine next week

Province adding teachers, corrections officers to priority frontline worker lists once all residents 40+ are eligible

A nurse draws a dose from a vaccine vial in Prince Albert. Photo courtesy SHA.

Saskatchewan is hoping to open vaccine eligibility to all residents aged 40 and over by next Wednesday.

In a press release Tuesday, the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) said that it would use the AstraZeneca vaccine to immunize adults 40 and older and integrate it into the provincial vaccination rollout plan.

It’s expected that residents aged 44 or older will become eligible by Thursday, with all residents 40 and over allowed to access a vaccine by April 28.

Once all residents aged 40 and over are eligible, the SHA said, access will be prioritized to remaining first-responders and additional frontline workers aged 16 plus including front-line health care workers, police officers, firefighters, teachers and educational staff, correctional staff and security officers.

The province had previously added additional frontline workers to the vaccine list but had excluded teachers and correctional staff.

Calls to vaccinate teachers picked up this weekend after the death of Carlton counsellor Victor Thunderchild to COVID-19. Thunderchild contracted COVID at work, his family said.. He tweeted on April 5 asking Moe to add teachers to the priority list.

Eligible workers will require proof of their employment to attend mass vaccination sites.

The SHA said details on booking appointments will be provided next week prior to additional priority groups becoming eligible. Following that, Saskatchewan will continue with its declining age-based system for the remaining residents aged 16-40, slowly adding groups of progressively younger residents to the eligibility list.

The announcement came the same day Saskatvcheawn announced existing public health measures would be extended to May 10 and that the first five cases of the Brazilian COVID-19 variant, P.1. had been identified.

Saskatchewan also announced a record 51 COVID-19 patients in the ICU.

Of those, two are in North Central and 35 in Regina. In all, there are 195 residents in the hospital. Regina has 69 COVID-19 inpatients alone. North Central has five.

Saskatchewan reported 249 new cases of COBID-19 Tuesday along with 236 recoveries. There were no new deaths reported Tuesday. There are 2,640 COVID-19 cases considered active.

The seven-day average of new COVID-19 cases was reported to be 247, or 20.2 per 100,000 population .

Prince Albert saw six new COVID-19 cases Tuesday. The city has 38 active cases.

The province vaccinated 5,278 people Monday, including 540 in the North Central zone.