On April 20, the Saskatchewan Health Authority announced that the province will now be using AstraZeneca to immunize adults 40 years and older and that AstraZeneca will be integrated into the provincial vaccination roll-out plan.
In a news release from the Government of Saskatchewan, it was noted that, at this time, the SHA has successfully delivered AstraZeneca in booked appointments for residents 55 years and older so there is currently fewer than 15,000 doses in the province with less than 9,000 available to the SHA. The other doses have already been allocated for administration.
When it comes to the AstraZeneca (AZ) vaccine, there is much concern these days regarding cases of individuals that have had blood clots form after receiving this vaccination. Martensville Collective Health and Wellness (MCHW) has been sharing information often regarding this, along with other concerns that people may have regarding the COVID-19 vaccination options. This can be found by visiting the ‘Martensville Collective Health and Wellness’ Facebook page and includes information regarding concerns of blood clots, vaccine effectiveness and much more information is being shared regularly.
“The risk of an adverse reaction to AZ is far outweighed by the benefit with the protection against COVID-19. And even more so now given the increased risk of infection as variants spread,” MCHW stated in their April 13 post.
Vaccine Eligibility Updated – Additional Prioritization To Follow 40+ Eligibility
Saskatchewan is currently working towards the benchmark of opening vaccine eligibility to all residents ages 40 and over in order to reduce the risk of severe outcomes of COVID-19. To date, residents ages 40 and over who have contracted COVID-19 have seen the most severe outcomes, accounting for 84 per cent of total hospitalizations and 96 per cent of total deaths.
Based on the current vaccine allocation schedule, the vaccine eligibility age is expected to drop to 44 and older province wide this Thursday, April 22 and to 40 and older next Wednesday, April 28.
Once COVID-19 vaccine eligibility has been opened to all residents ages 40 and over, Saskatchewan will prioritize access to the COVID-19 vaccine through mass-vaccination settings to remaining prioritized first-responders (currently targeted with mobile vaccination units) along with additional front-line workers ages 16+, depending on vaccine product, including: Police officers, Firefighters, Front-line healthcare workers with direct patient contact employed by the SHA or private employers (including dentists, optometrists, chiropractors), Teachers and educational staff working directly with students, Correctional staff and Border security officers.
Eligible workers will require proof of employment from their employer prior to attending mass vaccination sites. Eligibility for these groups will be announced once all residents ages 40+ are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. Details on booking appointments will be provided next week, prior to additional priority groups becoming eligible.
Following the eligibility of prioritized groups of workers, Saskatchewan will continue with the age-based system in opening vaccine eligibility to the remaining population decreasing in age from 40-16.
BELOW: One of the informational posts on the Martensville Collective Health and Wellness Facebook page regarding the AstraZeneca vaccines. Find more information by visit ‘Martensville Collective Health and Wellness’