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COVID-19: Saskatchewan reaches vaccination milestone, reports 2 new deaths

Over half a million people in Saskatchewan have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, health officials reported Friday. Jesus Hellin / Getty Images

As Saskatchewan reached a milestone in administering vaccinations, the province reported two new COVID-19-related deaths.

Health officials said 505,631 residents have now received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Of those, 73 per cent are over the age of 40 and 63 per cent of residents aged 30 and older have received the first dose.

Officials said overall, 47,758 people have received both doses of the vaccine.

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The news comes as the province reported two more deaths, bringing the overall total fatalities in the province to 515 since the start of the pandemic.

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One death is a person in the 40-49 age group from the south central zone and the other death is a person in the 70-79 age group from the Saskatoon zone.

Saskatchewan reported 227 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, bringing the provincial total to 44,159 cases.

The majority of the new cases were reported in the Saskatoon zone (50), the Regina zone (41) and the south east zone (36).

Read more: Mixed messaging around AstraZeneca vaccine highlights public distrust, uncertainty

The seven-day average of new COVID-19 case number is 203, or 16.6 new cases per 100,000 population.

As of May 13, 8,915 variants of concern have been identified by screening in Saskatchewan, health officials reported.

Five are the B.1.617 variant that was first detected in India. This is the first report of this variant in Saskatchewan.

Two of the cases are in Saskatoon, and one each in Regina, the north central and the central west zones.

Canada has not identified the variant as a “variant of concern” (VOC) yet but instead as a “variant of interest” — although the U.K. and the World Health Organization recently labelled it a VOC.

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The province said 149 people are currently receiving in-patient treatment at a hospital, with 34 people in intensive care.

Officials reported 188 recoveries on Friday, with overall recoveries now at 41,569.

The total number of active cases in the province is 2,075.

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