Regina vs. Saskatoon: Mayor proposes vaccine challenge as province strives for 3rd reopening step
REGINA -- The mayor of Regina has challenged her Saskatoon counterpart to a vaccination competition.
On Wednesday evening, Regina Mayor Sandra Masters took to social media to lay down the gauntlet on Saskatoon Mayor Charlie Clark with a vaccination challenge.
"Absolutely I’d be willing to embarrass myself to get people vaccinated," Masters said on Thursday. "I won’t have to if Regina wins and so we’re hoping individuals who have not yet received their first dose are able to get to a clinic."
Masters said the Saskatchewan Health Authority approached the mayors with a vaccine challange in mind.
"We’re always happy to have a good rivalry with Regina and this is around a really important issue," Clark added.
The city that records the highest number of first vaccinations, per capita, from June 17 to June 30 will win, and the losing mayor will give an on-camera lip-sync performance of a song selected by the winning city.
Masters said she’s seen some good suggestions so far.
"Based upon the pictures I’m getting from clinics this morning, it’s working and we need it to keep working," she said.
Clark had a very Saskatoon suggestion for Masters’ performance if the Bridge City pulls off the win.
"Running Back to Saskatoon is one that I would enjoy hearing her sing," he said. "We want to give people a chance to weigh in and give their opinions, but that would be a pretty good one."
Residents can submit their song suggestions by messaging either mayor on social media with a photo of their "Stick It to COVID" sticker.
Step three of Saskatchewan’s reopening roadmap is activated once 70 per cent of residents 18-and-over have received a first vaccine dose.
In recent weeks, the number of first doses being administered in the province has slowed.
Saskatchewan has averaged about 2,200 first doses per day over the past week, compared to 8,700 second doses.
The province needs to administer slightly more than 7,500 more first doses to reach the reopen threshold. There are more than 25,000 more doses needed to remove the mandatory mask mandate and restrictions on large gatherings.
"With the slowdown now, we really need people to just get out there make that appointment," Clark said. "If you know people who haven’t been vaccinated yet, make sure you help them, get them lined up with an appointment or get to a drive thru and get that shot."
As part of the push to get more people vaccinated, Masters said the City of Regina is offering free bus rides to anyone going to a first dose clinic or showing their vaccination sticker.