REGINA -- COVID-19 vaccines have proven to be 99 per cent effective in Saskatchewan, according to new data from the province.

During Tuesday’s COVID-19 update, Saskatchewan’s chief medical health officer (CMHO) Dr. Saqib Shahab said 263 people have been diagnosed with COVID-19 more than three weeks after their first dose – an infection rate of approximately 0.09 per cent.

Dr. Shahab said the data is based off residents who received their first dose up to and including April 17 – when 309,276 first doses of vaccine had been administered in the province, according to the CMHO.

The doctor said the province chose the three week marker because immunity starts to develop two weeks, making three weeks a better indicator of protection against the virus.

“I think this is quite remarkable actually, that with just one dose the vaccine is protecting us so well. That reinforces the fact that all of us need to get vaccinated,” said Dr. Shahab.

Health officials maintain that a second dose is still essential for long-term protection, despite the apparent effectiveness of the first dose.

“The second dose is our protection, [it’s] a long-term investment,” said Dr. Shahab. “We are not just looking to have an adequate summer, but also a great fall. That’s why completing the second dose is important.”

As of Tuesday, 51 per cent of people age 18 and older have received their first dose. Premier Scott Moe said while the vast majority of Saskatchewan residents will be protected through vaccination, some may choose not to get the vaccine. The premier made an effort to remind those people that they are taking a chance with their health.

“When we have provided access and to opportunity to be vaccinated from corner to corner in this province, there is a certain degree of risk that you are choosing to live with,” said Moe.


Manitoba has seen similar numbers. On Tuesday the province said 410 Manitobans contracted COVID-19 14 days or more after their first vaccine, with a total of 26 hospitalizations and seven deaths. The province noted that all of those who died were people aged 65 and older.

As of May 10, a total of 481,119 Manitobans have received at least one or two doses of the vaccine.

With files from’s Kayla Rosen