40 per cent of eligible residents in Sask. not fully vaccinated against COVID-19

Saskatchewan is well into the two dose summer promised by the provincial government, but, despite a surplus of shots, a significant percentage of the eligible population still hasn’t been vaccinated against COVID-19.

According to provincial data released Wednesday, 60 per cent of those age 12 and older are fully vaccinated, leaving 40 per cent of the population vulnerable to COVID-19 and its deadly variants.

“I’m very concerned that people might think, you know what, pandemic is over, COVID is over, we’ve opened up, it’s time for summer. It’s still so important that people do get vaccinated,” said Dr. Tania Diener, immunization lead with the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA).

The SHA said 60,000 appointments are currently unfilled at vaccine clinics, so the focus has shifted to taking vaccines to where the crowds are. The SHA is hosting mobile clinics across Regina at places like Maple Leaf Pool, the Farmers’ Market and various shopping malls.

There are now more vaccines available in Canada than people seeking them. Canada is administering 2.5 million doses a week, a 34 per cent decline since the end of June.

Vaccine shipments from the federal government are carefully tailored to match demand. So far, very few doses in Saskatchewan have gone to waste as clinics work hard to attract recipients and keep the supply flowing. As of July 18, 2021, approximately 0.16 per cent – or about 2,719 doses out of 1,723,135 doses – of all COVID-19 vaccines received have been tossed, said the Ministry of Health in a statement Wednesday.

According to the federal government’s schedule, the province is slated to receive 114,660 Pfizer doses next week.