Learn more about COVID-19 in Saskatchewan:

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Vaccine Delivery Phases

Saskatchewan's COVID-19 Vaccine Delivery Plan is designed to save lives and stop the spread of COVID-19. The information on this page is updated frequently and is subject to change based on vaccine availability and the latest COVID-19 data.

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1. Immunization in Saskatchewan

Storage and delivery

Saskatchewan is continually preparing for the ongoing storage and delivery of vaccines. Some vaccines require special transportation, storage and handling and must be kept at ultra-low temperatures.

Dose requirement

Currently, all approved COVID-19 vaccines in Canada require two doses of vaccine per person.

Both your 1st and 2nd dose must be of the same vaccine.

The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) has updated its recommendation on the interval between the first and second doses of authorized COVID-19 vaccines (Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca/Covishield). Based on evidence NACI's expertise in vaccine science, they are recommending to maximize the number of people benefiting from the first dose by extending the interval between the first and second dose up to four months.

Beginning March 5, all vaccines administered in Saskatchewan will be a first dose, with second doses administered at an interval of up to four months.  Residents will be contacted when they are eligible to book their second dose appointment, based on completing the vaccination sequencing and supply.

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 or to any existing second-dose appointments.  Existing, scheduled appointments for second doses will be completed as scheduled.

All residents who receive their first dose will still be eligible to receive their second dose when the supply is available. 

Please note that it is important to continue to follow all public health measures until Saskatchewan's Chief Medical Health Officer indicates any changes to restrictions. Even if you have received the vaccine, you must still socially distance, wash your hands and follow all mandatory masking protocols.  

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2. Immunization Phases

Saskatchewan's COVID-19 Immunization Delivery Plan is built on the foundation of age as the main risk factor.

Phase 1 is focused on vaccinating high-risk populations, people of advanced age, and health care workers that have been identified as a priority.

Phase 2 is focused on vaccinating the general population by age, as well as the clinically extremely vulnerable and people in emergency shelters and group homes.

Focusing on age as a primary risk factor will enable Saskatchewan residents to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in a more efficient and timely manner.

We are in Phase 2 graphic 

Moving between phases

The timeline for Saskatchewan's COVID-19 Vaccination Delivery Strategy is dependent on vaccine supply and availability. The federal government is working to obtain as much vaccine as possible to distribute to provinces and territories.

It's important to understand the timeline for each phase may change due to vaccine availability.

You will not miss your chance to get the vaccine when a new phase starts. Once you become eligible, you are always eligible. If you are in Phase 1, you can still get the vaccine in Phase 2.

Pilot

Timeline: December 2020

Pilot

  • Saskatchewan conducted a pilot of the shipping, delivery and storage of 1,950 doses of the Pfizer ultra-frozen vaccine.
  • 1,950 health care workers were vaccinated at Regina General Hospital.
  • First recipients of vaccine were health care workers in ICUs, Emergency Departments and COVID Units at Regina General and Pasqua Hospitals and testing and assessment centres.
  • Pilot recipients received their second dose 21 days following the administration of the first dose (during Phase 1).
  • Pilot project to better understand the handling and storage requirements of the Pfizer vaccine.

Phase 1

Timeline: December 2020 - March 2021

Phase 1

Targeted Immunization

  • Phase 1 began on December 22, 2020
  • Immunization targeted to priority populations, including long-term care and personal care home residents, specific health care workers and vulnerable populations.

Prioritization Framework

  • The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) has issued guidance to provinces on the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Saskatchewan's Chief Medical Health Officer has reviewed NACI guidelines and modified them for Saskatchewan's demographics and logistical requirements.
  • March 2021 guidance from NACI recommended increasing the interval between first and second doses of applicable vaccines in the interest of vaccinating more people, quicker. Saskatchewan is following this practice

Saskatchewan's framework:

  1. Long-term care and personal care home residents and staff.
  2. Health care workers in emergency departments, intensive care units, COVID-19 wards and COVID testing and assessment staff, respiratory therapists; code blue and trauma teams; and EMS, road and air transport teams.
  3. Residents 70 years and older in all communities) starting with the oldest first, working down by age)
  4. Residents over the age of 50 living in remote/Northern Saskatchewan.
  5. Additional health care workers included in priority sequencing for Phase 1 as announced February 16, 2021. These additional workers include:
    • Individuals directly involved in delivering COVID-19 immunizations in Phase 2 including physicians (up to 2,600), pharmacists (up to 1,200) and other SHA health care providers involved in delivering COVID-19 immunizations;
    • Anesthesia/operating rooms;
    • All other critical care areas;
    • Hemodialysis;
    • Vaccination teams;
    • Radiology technicians;
    • ECG/echo;
    • Phlebotomy/lab workers handling COVID-19 specimens; and
    • Home care (direct care providers).

Phase 2

Timeline: March 2021

Phase 2

Widespread Access

  • Phase 2 began March 18, 2021
  • Focused on vaccinating the general population from oldest to youngest.  Population numbers:
    Age Group Estimated Population
    60-69 138,471
    50-59 147,469
    40-49 151,901
    30-39 183,292
    18-29 190,043

Targeted vaccinations to select congregate living:

  • Group homes for persons with intellectual disabilities
  • Emergency shelters

People with underlying health conditions that are clinically extremely vulnerable:

NOTE: People with the following conditions will receive letters, notifying them of their eligibility for Phase 2 priority sequencing, regardless of age.  This letter is required in order to book an appointment. 

  • Solid organ transplant recipients.
  • People with specific cancers:
    • People with cancer who are undergoing active chemotherapy.
    • People with lung cancer who are undergoing radical radiotherapy.
    • People with cancers of the blood or bone marrow such as leukemia, lymphoma or myeloma who are at any stage of treatment.
    • People having immunotherapy or other continuing antibody treatments for cancer.
    • People having other targeted cancer treatments that can affect the immune system, such as protein kinase inhibitors or PARP inhibitors.
    • People who have had bone marrow or stem cell transplants in the last six months or who are still taking immunosuppression drugs.
  • People with severe respiratory conditions including all cystic fibrosis, severe asthma and severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
  • People with rare diseases that significantly increase the risk of infections (such as severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID), homozygous sickle cell disease).
  • People on immunosuppression therapies sufficient to significantly increase risk of infection (biologic modifiers, high dose steroids, AZT, cyclophosphamide).
  • People who had their spleen removed.
  • Adults with very significant developmental disabilities that increase risk.
  • Adults on dialysis or with chronic kidney disease (stage 5).
  • Women who are pregnant with significant heart disease, congenital or acquired.
  • Significant neuromuscular conditions requiring respiratory support.
  • Projected finished: Fall 2021 (depending on available vaccine supplies)

Remaining Health Care Workers To Be Allocated Unused Phase 1 Doses 

As part of the Phase 1 prioritization framework, 40,500 health care workers were prioritized for the COVID-19 vaccine.  Of those 40,500 priority vaccinations, first-dose uptake amongst priority health care workers has been 27,348 (67 per cent).  Government announced April 12, 2021 that additional frontline health care workers not included in Phase 1 prioritization will be allocated the remaining 13,152 first-doses.

All physicians are being included in priority sequencing as they may be called on to assist in clinical care areas and surge capacity needs.  Eligible SHA healthcare workers and physicians will receive notice and a letter of eligibility directing them to book a vaccination appointment by telephone (1-833-SASKVAX – 1-833-727-5829).  The notification will come from either the College of Physicians and Surgeons for doctors or the SHA for other healthcare staff, and is required before booking an appointment.  The SHA frontline healthcare staff includes outpatient and community services staff, nurses, pharmacists, therapy staff, mental health professionals, social workers, housekeeping, dietary and ward support staff.

Targeted first responders through mobile vaccination units once current priority populations are complete

  • Government announced April 12, 2021 that once mobile vaccinations in select congregate living settings are complete, mobile vaccination units will target first responders including police officers, fire fighters and public health inspectors and will be dispatched to central workplace settings
  • Paramedics, commonly considered first responders, were prioritized for vaccination in Phase 1 of the vaccine delivery plan.

Pharmacies to Prioritize Staff Working in Pharmacy and Grocery Facilities

  • Government announced April 12, 2021 that in addition to offering increased access to the general public in pharmacies through the age-based sequence, pharmacists will be offering vaccines to pharmacy and grocery staff working in the facility where vaccines are offered.
  • Pharmacies will require proof of employment in the facility where the vaccine is being delivered.  Any staff working in a facility where vaccine delivery is occurring will be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in that facility.

Why Focus on Age?

  • Age is the number one risk factor for severe outcomes, hospitalizations and deaths related to COVID-19.
  • People of advanced age are more likely to be clinically extremely vulnerable or living with other chronic conditions.
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3. Phase 2 Vaccine Clinics

The Saskatchewan Health Authority will operate 207 clinics in communities across the province. (NOTE: subject to change; does not include pharmacies or physicians’ offices)

Saskatchewan COVID-19 Clinics
Mass Immunization clinics 182
Drive-thru clinics 20
Mobile clinics 5
Total clinics 207

Three primary categories of clinics will be available:

By appointment iconBy Appointment

e.g. Public health clinics, mass immunization clinics

 

Drive/Walk-in icon

Drive-thru/Walk-in

e.g. Drive-thru clinics, mobile clinics

 

In the community iconIn the Community

e.g. Pharmacies, physician offices, partnerships with community-based organizations

 

Far North/North

Far North North Vaccine Clinic Map

Central/South

Central South Vaccine Clinic Map

Saskatoon

Saskatoon Vaccine Clinic Map

Regina

Regina Vaccine Clinic Map

Additional Vaccine Clinics

  • Clinics throughout rural, urban and northern Saskatchewan.
  • Opportunity to add seasonal clinics (e.g. drive-thru clinics) as the weather allows.
  • In addition to the SHA clinics, there will also be many other clinics, including:
    • Participating pharmacies (last year 385 pharmacies in 113 different communities participated in the flu immunization program)
    • Participating physicians' offices
    • First Nations clinics
    • Community-based settings
    • Partnerships with large businesses/industries

The goal is to provide options to receive the vaccine as close to home as possible.

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4. How to Get Immunized

Public Notifications

Information will be publicly shared to let you know:

  • When it's your time to be vaccinated.
  • How to register for a vaccine appointment.
  • The different types of immunization clinics available.
  • How to find the closest clinics to you.

Information will be included in:

  • Advertising in local media
  • Social media
  • Online ads
  • Local publications
  • Posters
  • Direct mail
  • News conferences

Booking an Appointment

Phase 1

  • Residents and staff in long-term care and personal care homes have been contacted directly.
  • Priority health care workers be contacted to book an appointment.
  • People 50+ in Northern Saskatchewan were initially being contacted directly, and now are responsible to book themselves by calling 1-833-SASK-VAX (1-833-727-5829)
  • People 70+ living in the community were initially being directly contacted and now are responsible to book themselves as new booking options are available.  
 
Phase 2

Scheduling options opening only to eligible age categories at a given time, starting from age 69 working down. Please do not use scheduling tools unless you are in an eligible age category. Awareness efforts will be undertaken to ensure you know when they are to book. You can also check booking information for the current eligible ages/groups.

  • Central scheduling system for easy online access to vaccine appointments offered by the Saskatchewan Health Authority (NOTE: pharmacies and physicians will have their own process for booking)
  • Toll-free telephone line (1-833-SASK-VAX/1-833-727-5829) to allow residents to book appointments through a dedicated call centre.  
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5. Proof of Immunization

  • Electronic and paper copies of vaccination records available.
  • People will receive a wallet card with a record of their COVID-19 vaccination.
  • Vaccination records also stored electronically on MySaskHealthRecord.

Sample Immunization Card

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6. Community Immunity

Vaccines do more than protect you from COVID-19, they also protect everyone around you. The more people in a community who are immunized against COVID-19, the harder it is for the virus to spread.

Community (herd) immunity could be reached when a large majority of people in Saskatchewan are immunized against COVID-19. When you choose to be vaccinated against COVID-19, you are helping save lives by protecting your household and your entire community from the virus.

Lifting restrictions

Lifting current restrictions will be based on many factors, including:

  • Number of people immunized and level of community immunity
  • Number of COVID-19 cases in the province
  • Health care system capacity

Layers of protection

Going back to normal life will take time. Even if you have received the vaccine, you must follow provincial health orders and protect others by:

  • Washing your hands
  • Staying home when sick and getting tested
  • Keeping a safe distance from others
  • Wearing a mask in public indoor spaces

Together, we can keep each other safe.

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