As of January 12, a total of 9,880 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Saskatchewan. Another Pfizer shipment of 6,825 doses was expected to arrive in Saskatoon on the 12th, and from there, vaccinations will continue among priority long term care and personal care home residents and staff. The next Moderna shipment of 5,400 doses is expected to arrive within the province on January 14, with 500 doses set to be distributed to the Far North East zone to continue the first doses in the priority sequencing. The remaining doses will be distributed as first doses to priority long term and personal care home staff and residents and health care workers in the South East and Central East zones.
Locally, doctors at Martensville Collective Health and Wellness (MCHW) received their first dose of the vaccine due to their work within long term and personal care homes within the region. “When I first got the call, I was overwhelmed and excited, but as the time came closer, I began to feel sadness that I was receiving it before so many others. We were identified as a priority group because of our work with seniors. Through this pandemic, there have been times when we haven’t been able to provide care to the personal and long term care homes because the risk for going in for a low acuity issue was too high with the risk of us bringing in something that we didn’t know we were bringing,” Dr. Adamus of MCHW explained.
After receiving the first dose of the vaccine, Dr. Adamus noted that herself, along with the other doctors at MCHW that received the vaccine, did not have any severe reactions in the days that followed. They will all be receiving their second dose of the vaccine near the end of this month; however, being vaccinated will not change any of the precautions that are currently in place. Within the coming weeks, Dr. Adamus noted that long term care and personal care home residents will be vaccinated; however, she reminds the public that there are still many high-risk individuals that will not be receiving the vaccine for some time, so it is important to remain vigilant and follow the current guidelines that are in place.
“I believe that this is the light at the end of the tunnel that we have been waiting for, but it is not the time to get lax just because this is coming. We still have to protect each other. I know that it can be frustrating and feel like we are not getting anywhere, but we are gaining some ground and we will get there. It all counts on everyone holding the fort down and staying vigilant with these precautions. We know that when we pull together, we can make this work and slow that spread,” Dr. Adamus said.
Prior to receiving the vaccine, Dr. Adamus did quite a bit of research and talked to people within the field in order to educate herself about it. “I did that work ahead of time, so when the call came and my turn was up, I felt comfortable with it. It is so important to educate yourself on these things and ensure that you are receiving your information from a valid source.” Adamus added that there is much to learn about these types of vaccines, and although they are new to us, they are not new to science. “They have been working on these types of vaccines for a very long time. The technology was there, but it was just about adapting it to this particular virus, which was part of the reason it could get done so quickly. This is also proof of what can be done when the world comes together with everything from supply chains, information, technology and bureaucratic red tape. When all of that is working together worldwide, incredible things happen.”
On Tuesday, January 12, it was announced that the public health order issued on December 17, 2020 will remain in effect until January 29 and at that time will be received by the provincial Chief Medical Health Officer. For complete information on the current public health measures or to see the Public Health Order, visit http://www.saskatchewan.ca/covid19-measures. That same day, there was a total of 248 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the provincial total to date to 18,770 cases.
“People are feeling discouraged because our numbers are so high, but I have been reminding my patients that the numbers are not really any higher than they were before Christmas. They are higher than we would like them to be, but not necessarily getting any worse, which means we are staying the course. This virus has exponential growth, so it seems we are staying steady, rather than seeing those massive jumps in numbers. I would certainly like to see the numbers drop; however, I am not discouraged because they are not any higher.”