Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine to be used in Sask. drive-thru clinics

The first shipment of the of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine is expected to arrive in Saskatchewan next week and will be distributed in drive-thru vaccination clinics, despite health officials stating earlier this week that initial plans were focused on using the single dose vaccine for vulnerable groups.

The province announced Friday that 9,300 doses of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine will arrive in Saskatchewan the week of May 3.

Speaking Tuesday, Saskatchewan Health Authority CEO Scott Livingstone said the health authority was considering allocating those doses to be used on “harder to reach groups.”

“One of the things that will be considered as the small number of doses if we're only getting 9000 doses initially likely we'll be targeting some of those harder to reach groups of individuals that might be transient a little harder to get that second dose, but that's right now where the initial consideration there’s going,” Livingstone said, Tuesday.

On Friday, Minister of Health Paul Merriman said there would be some doses of the vaccine available to vulnerable individuals on a case by case basis, but the majority of the 9,300 doses would go through drive-thru clinics.

“Well, we're going to use the majority of them through the drive-thrus, but we are going to hold some off that are going to be used in say hospital settings if somebody comes in and presents that wouldn't be typically caught, through a normal vaccination process we would get them vaccinated at that point in time if they were willing to do that,” Merriman said Friday.

Canada’s first shipment of 300,000 doses of the vaccine arrived on Wednesday. The federal government purchased 10 million doses, and has the option to buy 28 million more.

With files from the Canadian Press