REGINA -- Those who had COVID-19 no longer need to wait 90 days before getting a vaccine.

According to an online Q&A on the Saskatchewan Health Authority website, those who had COVID-19 are no longer required to wait until 90 days post-recovery to receive a shot.

“As long as you are recovered/no longer infectious you are able to be vaccinated,” the SHA’s website reads.

In the last 90 days, Saskatchewan has reported 17,883 new COVID-19 cases. One of those cases was Matthew Cardinal. The 34-year-old spent two-and-a-half weeks in hospital with the virus – six of those days were spent in the ICU.

“I would not wish that upon anybody,” said Cardinal.

Once he recovered, Cardinal didn’t want to wait 90 days to get his vaccine, so he went to his doctor to get a note, allowing him to get the vaccine sooner.

“So I went and got the doctor’s note. And then a friend of mine on Twitter said, ‘Well, you didn’t need one anymore because that’s been lifted.’ And I’m like, ‘What are you talking about?’” he said.

Cardinal wasn’t aware the protocol for vaccinating those who previously tested positive for COVID-19 had changed, and said it’s frustrating the change wasn’t publicized more.

“I know the doctor’s busy as it is, and I didn’t have to go for that appointment to go get my doctor’s note. Because I want to go back to work, but I want to make sure I’m fully inoculated,” Cardinal said.

Dr. Shahab, the province’s chief medical health officer, said the 90 day rule was in place because it’s unlikely someone who tested positive for the virus, would be reinfected with in during that time period, and the vaccine supply was limited.

“But now, of course, because vaccine supply is abundant, it’s important that we all get vaccinated when we become eligible by age by first dose and then second dose, and that’s why the 90 day period has been lifted,” said Dr. Shahab.

Cardinal said he went to get his vaccine right away, and ended up getting it on Wednesday.

“After all I’ve been through, it just feels good, like I feel safer having it,” he said. “It was a very emotional day. I was very happy to get it.”

Cardinal is still dealing with long-term effects of the virus, so he’s encouraging everyone to get vaccinated to protect themselves, and others.

“Go book, go wait in line. If you have to make your way out of the city to go to a clinic, do it,” said Cardinal.