People in Saskatchewan can expect a coronavirus vaccine distribution plan next week, according to Health Minister Paul Merriman.
Merriman said his ministry and Saskatchewan Health Authority have been getting ready to deliver vaccines and a detailed presentation is forthcoming.
“We do not yet have an exact timeline on when we will be receiving these vaccines. The federal government is now saying the first deliveries will be early in the new year,” he said on Wednesday.
“Saskatchewan’s per capita share that we should be receiving in the first quarter of 2021 is about 180,000 doses, enough to vaccinate 90,000 people.
“This is a huge undertaking involving thousands of health-care workers and other support staff, transportation, storage and many other logistical issues. But let me assure you, we will be ready.”
Based on the advice of public health officials, Merriman said there will be prioritization for who will receive the vaccine first.
“It’s no surprise that we expect health-care workers and the residents in our long-term care and personal-care homes to receive the first vaccines,” Merriman said.
“This is how we get back to normal in Saskatchewan. This is how our health system will get back to normal. This is how our economy will get back to normal. This is how our lives will get back to normal. It is quite literally the shot in the arm that Saskatchewan needs.”
Until the majority of the Saskatchewan population is vaccinated, the minister and the province’s chief medical health officer, Dr. Saqib Shahab, stressed following the public health orders and guidelines to reduce the spread of COVID-19.