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Saskatchewan may start offering 2nd dose of AstraZeneca vaccine if age limitations continue

The Saskatchewan government may start offering a second dose of AstraZeneca if the age restrictions surrounding the vaccine continue. Denis Thaust /ABACAPRESS.COM

Saskatchewan’s health minister said Wednesday that the province may begin offering the second dose of AstraZeneca if age limitations surrounding the vaccine remain in place.

Health Canada recommends that the AstraZeneca vaccine not be used in adults under 55 years of age.

We want to make sure that if we can get people fully vaccinated, we can do that,” said Paul Merriman, Saskatchewan’s health minister.

Read more: Phase 1 of Saskatchewan’s coronavirus vaccine plan adds more health-care workers

“AstraZeneca presents some logistical challenges just because of the age requirement. If the age doesn’t move, then we’ll certainly look at looping back and giving people second doses, either through a drive-thru or some other type of mechanism.”

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Merriman said, at this time, the province will continue its push to get everybody vaccinated with a first dose before turning its attention to second doses.

“It’s all based on supply right now, but we’re still continuing with our first doses across Saskatchewan and bringing the ages down as fast as we can,” Merriman said.

“I believe we’re the only ones in the country right now in the 40s (age group).”

Read more: Why all COVID-19 vaccine side effects matter, not just the serious ones

He said that as far as the second dose is concerned, it will also be based on supply.

“If we start to have an excess vaccine supply, then we could certainly loop back and do some people on the second doses,” Merriman said.

“We have done second doses for anybody that was identified in Phase 1.”

On Wednesday, the province announced that 307,449 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Saskatchewan.

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