'You’ve got to protect your family'; Sask. students begin to get their COVID-19 shots

Sixteen-year-old Duilon Pelletiar is one of the first students in Saskatchewan to receive a COVID-19 vaccine at school.

“You’ve got to protect your family and stuff like that, so you’ve got to take the vaccine,” he said.

The Saskatchewan Health Authority’s (SHA) mass vaccination campaign for students began on Monday in Regina, with students aged 12 and older eligible to receive the Phizer vaccine with a written consent form.

Saskatoon Public Schools says it will begin taking part in the campaign for students starting Wednesday. It will run for three weeks.

Spokesperson Veronica Baker says the division is supportive of the campaign, providing a space to make vaccines accessible to students and families, but all shots will be voluntary.

“You’ve got to make it as easy as possible, right,” said parent Evan Schemenauer. “People aren't going to go out of their way in some cases to get them, so if they're in the school and the kids can get them, their parents don't have to worry about booking an appointment, all the better.”

Those aged 13 and older are considered mature minors and can fill out their own forms without parental consent.

“I think it should honestly be 16, that's my personal opinion,” said Schemenauer. “But you know there's health experts that work that information for a reason, right, and they know more about this than I do so I'll trust their judgment on it.”

The campaign will be expanded to include 43 communities across Saskatchewan.