Province updates on vaccination for those 12 and under

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A provincial review of COVID-19 cases shows 98 per cent of recent student cases came from unvaccinated or partially vaccinated households.

Researchers reviewed 1,643 confirmed cases of all ages that occurred between Aug. 20 and Sept. 7. That includes 185 cases in children ages six to 12, and 334 in students between the ages of six and 19.

Case identification showed two of the households were fully immunized, with 78 households not immunized or partly immunized.

As of Tuesday, four children under the age of 11 are in hospital. None are in ICU.

“Children can contract, transmit and become ill with COVID-19, though the risk for serious health outcomes is lower than older populations,” reads a Government of Saskatchewan update sent out on Tuesday. “Current evidence indicates children with underlying medical conditions and infants less than 12 months of age may be at elevated risk to COVID-19 illnesses, similar to the 80+ age group.”

Children under 12 remain ineligible for vaccination at this time. The province stated that until that approval is granted, the best defence of pediatric COVID cases is to increase vaccination rates among all eligible residents. 

“Recent news on clinical trials in this age group is encouraging,” the provincial update stated. “The province will move quickly to provide COVID-19 vaccines to additional age groups as soon as any vaccine receives Health Canada approvals.”

All Saskatchewan residents who will be 12 years of age as of December 31, 2021 and older are eligible for vaccination.

Case and contact management in schools continues to be a high priority for public health officials.  Information on masking in school settings and the notifications parents will receive in the event of confirmed cases in classrooms is available at the COVID dashboard.

Province reports five new deaths related to COVID-19 Tuesday

Saskatchewan health officials reported five new deaths related to COVID-19 on Tuesday including one in North Central. The death was in the 70-79 age group.

The other deaths included two in the South West zone and one each in the Far North West and Central West zones.

There have now been 646 deaths related to COVID-19 reported in Saskatchewan.

There were also another 46 new cases of COVID-19 in North Central on Tuesday. This was among 372 total cases in the province. The Saskatoon Zone led the province with 50 new cases.

Of the 62,989 reported COVID-19 cases in Saskatchewan, 4,700 are considered active another record number.

North Central 2, which is Prince Albert, has 316 active cases. North Central 1, which includes communities such as Christopher Lake, Candle Lake and Meath Park, has 168 active cases and North Central 3 has 75 active cases.

According to the province there were 132 cases reported in the 0 to 11 age group Sunday. In the 12 to 19 age group there were 52 cases reported with 45 not vaccinated.

According to the province, approximately 19.5 per cent of new cases eligible for vaccination (aged 12 years and older) were fully vaccinated. As well 29.8 per cent of cases were in the 20 to 39 age group.

The province also set another record for patients in hospital.

There are currently 262 COVID-19 patients in hospital across the province, 193 of which are not fully vaccinated, with 208 receiving inpatient care and 54 in the ICU. North Central has 29 patients in hospital.

The current seven-day average for new cases is 474, or 39.4 cases per 100,000 population.

Another 336 recoveries were reported on Tuesday, bringing the total number of recoveries to 57,643.

Since the start of the pandemic, 15,123 cases are from the North area (6,352 North West, 6,427 North Central and 2,344 North East).

There were 3,744 COVID-19 tests processed in Saskatchewan on Tuesday. As of Sept. 21, there have been 1,098,415 COVID-19 tests performed in Saskatchewan.