REGINA -- Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe took some of the responsibility for a slower distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, stating it was the province’s decision to hold back second doses of the Pfizer vaccine.

Moe admitted the process should be going faster, speaking Tuesday at the legislative building.

“We made some policy decisions in the early days of the vaccination program that resulted in our pace of vaccination delivery being slightly lower than in some other areas,” Moe said

Moe said the decision to hold back the vaccines was based on advice from both the government and Pfizer.

“For the Pfizer pilot project, we decided to withhold the second dose of that vaccine. We’re no longer doing that with Pfizer deliveries that are coming in now. Instead we are administering all of the doses we receive,” Moe said.

Last week, Health Minister Paul Merriman stated the province withheld the second doses of the Pfizer vaccine due to direction from the federal government.

However, the federal government said it did not direct Saskatchewan to “hold back” second doses of the vaccine.

Moe said the province will be doing things “slightly differently” moving forward to speed up the pace of vaccinations.

Saskatchewan has administered 9,880 total doses of the COVID-19 vaccine as of Jan. 12. In the past week, 5,626 doses have been distributed, averaging around 803 doses per day.

Moe also said the vaccination totals were not as high as expected, due to the distribution into rural and remote areas.