Sask. to receive 45K doses of AstraZeneca vaccine by end of March
REGINA -- The Saskatchewan Government is expecting a shipment of about 45,000 AstraZeneca vaccines by the end of the month, and plans to reopen the drive-thru clinic in Regina.
A total of 5,038 doses of COVID-19 vaccine were administered in Saskatchewan on Monday, of them, 1,873 were given at the AstraZeneca drive-through immunization clinic at Evraz Place. The AstraZeneca drive-thru immunization clinic was then temporarily closed after the clinic ran out of vaccines.
Premier Scott Moe said the federal government is expecting 1.5 million doses of AstraZeneca by the end of the month. Saskatchewan’s next allocation will come from that shipment. Moe said if the AstraZeneca vaccine shipments arrive soon enough, Regina residents over 50 and Saskatchewan residents over 60 could be eligible to book vaccine appointments as early as April.
“Because of the success of the Regina drive thru clinic, those doses will be used to again reopen the Regina Drive-thru clinic, and we will have the opportunity then to open additional clinics in the communities of Saskatoon, in Moose Jaw and in Yorkton,” Premier Scott Moe said.
One man said he joined the AstraZeneca drive-thru line on Monday around 1:30 p.m., and was told to leave and check social media for updates.
“Two and a half hours of being in a lineup, and finally get near the front door for entry and all of a sudden the security guy just pulls the gate across and says ‘I’m sorry, we’re out of vaccines, you can leave,” Terry Nistor, who was turned away from the clinic said. “If you’re doing your job properly, you would have known at 8 o’clock in the morning how many vaccines you had for the day,”
In a Tweet around 4:30 p.m. on Monday, the Saskatchewan Health Authority said it was carefully monitoring the length of the line and apologized to all who were turned away. Just over two hours later the SHA said the drive-through was officially closed and will reopen when more vaccines are available.
“Two and a half hours out of my time, now I have to go back because somebody didn’t count how much vaccine was there?” Nistor said.
Nistor says he probably won’t go back to the drive-thru when it opens again and will instead try to book an appointment online.
Moe said 99 per cent of the vaccines available in Saskatchewan have been administered, and shipments of Pfizer and Moderna are expected this week.
“While vaccine deliveries from the federal government have increased significantly in the past few weeks, our system can definitely handle more and we could be going even faster if we were able to access those vaccines,” Moe said.
Moe said Saskatchewan may be the first province to exhaust its supply of AstraZeneca. Moe said if the AstraZeneca vaccine shipments arrive soon enough.