Drive-thru clinic closure leads to Regina vaccination rate drop from March to April

The drive-thru vaccine clinic at Evraz Place in Regina being closed for two weeks significantly dropped the number of people in the Queen City receiving their first shot, at a time when the city saw record high hospitalization numbers.

The drive-thru reopened over the weekend to a massive lineup of cars on Sunday as people waited more than six hours to get their shot.

"We’re just very appreciative that so many people are excited and willing to go out and get that vaccine," Premier Scott Moe said on Monday.

While the clinic was closed, Regina continued to have the highest case rate in the province, averaging 90 new cases per day throughout April.

Despite the premier claiming the province’s capital city was receiving additional vaccines to help fight the high case numbers, the percentage of provincial doses allocated to Regina dropped from March to April.

"We have allocated additional vaccines to Regina, most notably that’s why the drive-thru was open [Sunday], it will be open [Tuesday] and it will be open for what looks like a number of days this week," Moe said, when asked if the demand seen on Sunday would lead to more vaccines being allocated to the Queen City.

In March, Saskatchewan administered 113,638 doses and Regina accounted for 28.6 per cent of those shots. While the number of doses administered in April increased provincially to 227,106 and in Regina to 47, 204, the percentage of doses used in Regina fell to 20.8 per cent.

Over the past four weeks, Regina’s percentage of provincial doses has fluctuated from as high as 26 per cent (13,625 doses) to a low of 9.5 per cent (4,370 doses) last week when the drive-thru was closed.

During that same time span, Saskatoon has consistently administered at least 11,000 doses per week or at least 23 per cent of the doses delivered in the province.

According to the Saskatchewan Health Authority, doses are allocated according to the number of individuals in the currently eligible population across the province.

"In addition, due to the heightened variant risk resulting in some age groups being eligible earlier in Regina than in other communities, Regina received more of its allocation earlier in the month," the SHA said in a statement to CTV News.

Regina has 23.2 per cent of the province’s population.

As of Monday, 90,276 first doses have been administered in Regina, second to Saskatoon’s 104,774, and 9,694 people have been fully vaccinated with a second dose, which is the most in the province.