Sask. residents will begin receiving their 2nd vaccine dose in June
REGINA -- Health officials in Saskatchewan believe residents with their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine can expect their second dose in June.
Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe and chief medical health officer Dr. Saqib Shahab said second doses will be rolled out at a more rapid pace than first doses, thanks to a steady supply.
Currently, 44 per cent of residents over 18 have received their first dose in Saskatchewan.
The CEO of the Saskatchewan Health Authority Scott Livingstone said he remains committed to delivering all second doses within 16 weeks of first doses.
“We will escalate second doses very quickly, ensuring we have people with their second doses within that 16-week period,” Livingstone said.
He believes many people will not have to wait the full 16-week period between doses.
Second doses, like the first round, will be offered on a priority basis.
ASTRAZENECA SECOND DOSES
Health officials said they believe people who received AstraZeneca for their first shot will be able to receive the same shot for their second dose, despite an anticipated shortage.
Most of the AstraZeneca doses delivered to Canada come from the Serum Institute in India, which paused exports in March.
“We are confident that there will be enough second doses of the same product to complete vaccination schedules but obviously if there is any need to mix and match schedules we’ll be looking at evidence that is emerging on that now,” said Dr. Shahab.
Using different vaccines for first and second shot is not recommended, but researchers at the University of Oxford are studying whether those who have already received AstraZeneca can safely receive Pfizer as a follow-up booster. Saskatchewan is awaiting the outcome.
“If for some reason we didn’t receive [AstraZeneca]…there will be other options available to individuals but at this time we don’t have concerns about not receiving it,” said Livingstone.