Here's what residents over 70 need to know about getting vaccinated in Sask.
REGINA -- The Government of Saskatchewan is attempting to clear up some of the confusion around how and when residents in Phase 1 of Saskatchewan’s Vaccine Delivery Plan can receive their COVID-19 vaccine shots.
More than 80 per cent of long-term care residents and 75 per cent of personal are home residents in Saskatchewan have received their first dose so far.
However, residents over 70 living independently have been left in the dark.
"We’ve been hearing from families that are concerned about their place in the vaccine rollout or the place of their loved one," NDP Health Critic Vicki Mowat said.
"The government’s had months now to figure out a vaccine plan that would work and what we’re finding is that it’s not a consistent plan and it’s being administered on an ad hoc basis."
The Saskatchewan Health Authority is using contact lists generated by eHealth to identify people by location and age. They are then contacted by phone based on age until all available appointments are filled.
"It’s important to be aware of vaccine announcements as they will come from the government or the Saskatchewan Health Authority, just as happens with the influenza campaign, and of course, there will be specific reach outs to priority populations as well," Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Saqib Shahab said during Tuesday’s provincial COVID-19 update.
With the priority list including residents in the 70-and-over age groups, the NDP is concerned those residents may not see or hear the announcements due to limitations with technology.
"People don’t know what to do, they’re calling our offices, being redirected to websites that don’t have any information for them, it needs to be clear how to do this," Mowat said.
Health Minister Paul Merriman says the vaccine demand is outweighing the current available supply.
"Appointment availability is driven by vaccine availability. At this time, no clinic in the province is able to receive enough vaccine to immunize all residents eligible in phase one," Merriman said in a statement.
"As vaccine is available, local clinics will be available to eligible individuals and public health officials will be communicating those details directly."
The province needs about 400,000 doses to complete phase one of the delivery plan, but Saskatchewan has only received just over 63,000 so far.
"We’re about two-thirds of the way through our time period in Q1, only a third of the way through our vaccines and that is just simply due to a lack of access," Premier Scott Moe said on Tuesday.
Saskatchewan is expected to receive 4,500 doses of the Moderna vaccine and more than 15,000 Pfizer doses this week.