Health Canada officials have approved Pfizer's COVID-19 Vaccine, allowing distribution and inoculation to now begin across the country.
The Government of Saskatchewan revealed their COVID-19 Vaccine Delivery Plan on Wednesday, saying the province is ready to receive and deliver the COVID-19 vaccine.
"Vaccines are the finish line in this very long fight against the COVID-19 virus," said Premier Scott Moe, "This is how life will get back to normal, once we have delivered a safe and effective vaccine to a significant portion of Saskatchewan's population. We all need to get vaccinated, to keep yourselves, and to keep others safe."
The plan outlines details of the vaccine, core principles and timelines, the government's planned phased approach, logistics and distribution, the communication plan to spread awareness and information about the vaccine, and more.
The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) has reached agreements with seven different manufacturers to secure the vaccine for Canadians. Delivery will start in small shipments beginning this month and will be delivered to each province and territory on a per capita basis. The vaccine will require two doses, either 21 or 28 days apart. Those most at risk will be the first to receive the vaccine.
Core Principles and Timelines:
All vaccines approved by Health Canada are equally effective and safe, and as soon as Health Canada approves the vaccine, the province will begin to get the wheels in motion. The first batch of vaccines will arrive from PHAC this month, with future shipments arriving weekly after that. Future arrival dates are dependent on manufacturer production rates, and the potential of issues with manufacturing.
Pilot vaccinations will begin December 15 with 1,950 people receiving vaccinations in Regina
Those receiving these vaccinations will be health care workers in ICUs, emergency departments, and COVID units at the Regina General and Pasqua Hospitals, along with testing and assessment centres.
Phase 1 will then begin in late December, which will target priority populations, and will see Pfizer deliver approximately 10,725 doses per week, with each individual needing two doses.
It is estimated that between Pfizer and Moderna, 202,052 doses from both vaccines will be available in the first quarter of 2021. Those receiving this wave of vaccines will be health care workers, long-term care residents, and vulnerable populations.
Phase 2, which is expected to start in April of 2021, will see the continued vaccination of priority populations, and widespread access to immunizations to the general public. Phase 2 could occur earlier as vaccines are made available by PHAC.
Vaccination sites will depend on vaccine flow, but the government's goal is for all residents to have access to the vaccine through mass immunization clinics, by physicians, nurse practitioners, and pharmacists.
Planning for the redeployment of Public Service Commission staff is currently underway to support administration and data entry at these sites.
The Government of Saskatchewan has also set up a 'robust immunization administration system' called Panorama, which aims to provide records of all immunizations administered. Every individual who receives the COVID-19 vaccine will receive a record of their first and second vaccination.
The Government of Saskatchewan will continue to update the public through weekly public briefings, news releases, and a dedicated vaccination webpage.
An active public promotion campaign will take place as well through all forms of media, including print, TV, radio, digital, social, billboards, and more. The campaign will focus on providing accurate, timely information and increasing public awareness of the vaccine. It will reiterate the vaccine's safety, accurate immunization information, prioritization of groups for vaccines, and the need to maintain observance of health measures.