Effective July 11, 2021, Saskatchewan entered Step Three of the Re-Opening Roadmap and the public health order relative to COVID-19 was lifted. All restrictions related to the public health order were removed as of that date.

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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.

Download: COVID-19 Immunization Delivery Plan - February 9, 2021

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1. Immunization in Saskatchewan

Dose requirement

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

All Saskatchewan residents 12 years and older are eligible to be vaccinated. Following your first dose, you are eligible to receive your second dose following a 28-day interval.

Information on receiving your COVID-19 vaccination is available at COVID-19 Vaccine.

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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

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. As announced April 13, 2021, residents over the age of 40 living in the north.
  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, plus select vulnerable and priority groups
  • 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.
  • 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:

People who are considered clinically extremely vulnerable are included in priority vaccination (ages 12+). People in this category will receive an eligibility letter from their physician and will need to use the 1-833-SASKVAX / 1-833-727-5829 telephone number to book. This letter is required in order to book an appointment.

Note: 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; physicians have been provided a template for this purpose. For youth with a cancer diagnosis or in treatment or have received a solid organ transplant, this letter will come from the Government of Saskatchewan. With the eligibility letter, appointments for immunization must be booked by calling 1-833-SASKVAX (1-833-727-5829). This is to ensure that the appointment will be booked in a clinic offering the Pfizer vaccine, which is the only vaccine approved for youth 12-17. Additional information on how to book your appointment is available. Appointments may also be booked at participating pharmacies that are offering the Pfizer vaccine. A map of pharmacies participating at this provincial vaccination program at this time is available. At the time of booking, confirm that Pfizer is the vaccine that will be provided.

The following conditions apply:

  • 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)

Pregnant women (all) are eligible and will receive an eligibility letter from their physician and will need to use the 1-833-SASKVAX / 1-833-727-5829 telephone number to book.

Additional Health Care Workers:

  • Physicians
  • Eligible Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) healthcare workers including outpatient and community services staff, nurses, pharmacists, therapy staff, mental health professionals, social workers, housekeeping, dietary and ward support staff

The above groups 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.<

Non-SHA healthcare workers on the frontline in clinical care areas:

  • Frontline staff in private physician offices who provide patient care
  • Frontline staff in private digital imaging clinics
  • Frontline staff in community labs
  • Frontline staff at the Saskatchewan Cancer Agency

The above healthcare workers will receive a letter of eligibility, which will be required to register for COVID-19 vaccination (1-833-SASKVAX – 1-833-727-5829). Appointments for the above groups must be made through the telephone booking system only.

Other front-line healthcare workers with direct patient contact employed by the SHA or private employers:

The above groups may call 1-833-SASKVAX (1-833-727-5829) to make an appointment. Appointments may also be booked at a pharmacy participating in the vaccination delivery. They may also choose a drive-thru option when a clinic is available (no appointment necessary). Proof of employment will need to be shown at the time of the vaccination (letter from employer, copy of professional licence, paystub dated no earlier than March 2, 2021). NOTE: the online booking option is not available for these groups (unless they meet the current booking eligibility).

Staff and grocery workers of participating pharmacies; teachers and educational staff:

Pharmacy/grocery workers: 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.

Teachers and educational staff: Those working directly with students are eligible to receive a vaccine. This includes educational assistants and early childhood educators working in a school setting only.

Teachers and eligible educational staff may call 1-833-SASKVAX / 1-833-727-5829 to make an appointment. Appointments may also be booked at a pharmacy participating in the vaccination delivery. They may also choose a drive-thru option when a clinic is available (no appointment necessary). Proof of employment will need to be shown at the time of the vaccination (letter from employer, copy of professional licence, paystub dated no earlier than March 2, 2021). NOTE: the online booking option is not available for these groups (unless they meet the current booking eligibility)

First responders:

  • Police officers (including RCMP)
  • Firefighters (including volunteer firefighters)
  • Correctional staff
  • Border security officers
  • Deputy sheriffs (with Court Services)

The above groups may call 1-833-SASKVAX / 1-833-727-5829) to make an appointment. Appointments may also be booked at a pharmacy participating in the vaccination delivery. They may also choose a drive-thru option when a clinic is available (no appointment necessary). Proof of employment will need to be shown at the time of the vaccination (letter from employer, copy of professional licence, paystub dated no earlier than March 2, 2021). NOTE: the online booking option is not available for these groups (unless they meet the current booking eligibility)

Youth 12+:

With the approval of Pfizer BioNTech vaccines for ages 12+, these ages are eligible for the provincial vaccination program sequencing as of May 20 (those youth 12+ who are  Clinically Extremely Vulnerable were added to the sequencing earlier).

This will expand the provincial population eligible to receive vaccination by approximately 91,000. Saskatchewan was targeting to have first dose administration for eligible youth completed by the end of June. 

Vaccination details for Youth 12+

Complete list of eligible vaccination groups.

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3. Second Dose Strategy

Download: Saskatchewan's COVID-19 Immunization Second Dose Strategy

Download: May 6, 2021  COVID-19 Vaccine Second Dose Strategy presentation

As of June 24, 2021, all residents 12+ were eligible to receive their second vaccination at a 28 day interval from their first dose.

Vaccine Eligibility

Second Dose Administration: How You Can be Ready

Be ready by knowing the date you received your first vaccine. If you do not know the date or have misplaced the wallet card provided at the time of your first dose, call 1-833-SASKVAX (1-833-727-5829) and you will be provided with that date. Or, check your Immunization History on your MySaskHealthRecord account.

Vaccine Brand

During your second dose appointment, the clinic or pharmacy will validate the timing and brand of your first dose to ensure you are receiving your second dose within the recommended timeframe.

Details on AstraZeneca Second Dose Availability was announced on June 1.

FAQ

When can I receive my second dose?

As of June 24, 2021, all residents 12+ were eligible to receive their second vaccination at a 28 day interval from their first dose.

What if I don't remember the date I received my first dose/lost my wallet card?

If you do not know the date or have misplaced the wallet card provided at the time of your first dose, call 1-833-SaskVax (1-833-727-5829) and they can provide you with that date or check your Immunization History on your MySaskHealthRecord account.

Will I get the same vaccine type as the first dose?

On June 1, 2021 the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) released guidance on the interchangeability of COVID-19 vaccines authorized for use in Canada. It allows for the potential of receiving a different type of COVID-19 vaccine for your second dose than you received for your first dose. The provincial vaccination roll-out plan will incorporate this guidance to ensure safe and rapid deployment of vaccines to residents. NACI's recommendations are based on current scientific evidence of the vaccines and expert review. This means:

  • AstraZeneca: People who received a first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine may receive either AstraZeneca vaccine or an mRNA vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna) for their second dose, unless contraindicated.
  • Pfizer, Moderna: People who received a first dose of an mRNA vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna) should be offered the same mRNA vaccine for their second dose. If the same mRNA vaccine is not readily available or unknown, another mRNA vaccine can be considered interchangeable and should be offered to complete the vaccine series.

For practical purposes, especially in communities where there is limited supply/brands, it is permissible to mix mRNA brands if it otherwise means the patient would be required to delay their second dose or travel an onerous distance in order to receive a matching brand.

Saskatchewan anticipates having an adequate supply of vaccine in order to provide residents with second doses. All vaccines approved in Canada are safe. Health Canada and provincial public health officials will be monitoring the interchangeability of vaccines to ensure effective protection against COVID-19.  All residents need to receive two doses of the two-dose vaccines in order to achieve the best possible protection. 

I received AstraZeneca as a first dose. Do I have to receive it as the second dose?

That is your choice. As noted in the previous question, NACI has offered recommendations on mixing brands between first and second doses.

You will not be required to receive AstraZeneca as a second dose. Anyone who received AstraZeneca as a first dose is eligible to receive a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine for their second dose if that is their preference.

The Saskatchewan Health Authority will be the only agency providing AstraZeneca second doses. For information about receiving AstraZeneca as a second dose, call 1-833-SaskVax (1-833-727-5829). 

Will you be running the same type of clinics? (Drive thrus, walk-ins)

As of August 8, 2021 the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) will transition from mass immunization clinics (drive thrus, booked appointments) to outreach efforts to target under- and unvaccinated populations throughout the province. However, pharmacies are also delivering second doses. There is a map of pharmacies participating in the vaccination program, noting which vaccines are being offered. SHA outreach clinics will be advertised on social media channels, and through the SHA website.

What about the congregate living setting and vulnerable populations? Will you be doing mobile clinics for second dose?

Yes – the SHA will administer second doses in those identified settings the same way that first doses were administered. SHA will contact those organizations, like group homes and shelters, to make those arrangements.

Do I really need a second dose?

Yes. The two-dose vaccines require a second dose in order to ensure the full immune system response. Full protection will help reduce the risk of transmission as well as preventing the most severe forms of the COVID-19 illness and death.

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4. Vaccine Clinics

As of August 8, 2021, the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) will transition from mass immunization clinics (drive thrus, booked appointments) to outreach efforts to target under- and unvaccinated populations throughout the province. However, pharmacies are also delivering second doses. There is a map of pharmacies participating in the vaccination program, noting which vaccines are being offered. SHA outreach clinics will be advertised on social media channels, and through the SHA website.

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

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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.

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