Saskatchewan sees uptick in COVID-19 vaccination shots

The Saskatchewan government says 80 per cent of all eligible residents have now received their first COVID-19 vaccination shot. File / Global News

The Saskatchewan government says there has been a significant uptick in people getting COVID-19 vaccination shots.

The province said 80 per cent of all eligible residents have now received their first COVID-19 shot and 71 per cent of the eligible population now have two shots.

Read more: COVID-19 surge in Saskatchewan straining health-care system, organ donations paused

According to data released by the government on Friday, 25,958 shots were administered between Sept. 17 and Sept. 23, with 14,801 of those first doses.

That compared to 15,358 vaccinations — 7,052 first doses — between Sept. 10 and Sept. 16.

Officials attribute the increase to the Saskatchewan government’s announcement that proof of vaccination or negative test requirement is being implemented on Oct. 1.

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All provincial and Crown employees are required to be vaccinated, with proof of full vaccination by Oct. 1, or provide consistent proof of negative test if they are unable to provide proof of vaccination.

Proof of vaccination or a negative test is required for indoor dining at restaurants, nightclubs, bars, taverns and other licensed establishments.

It also applies to indoor gyms and fitness centres, conference centres, casinos, movie theatres, concert venues, live-music venues, museums and indoor facilities hosting ticketed sporting events.

Read more: Declared COVID-19 outbreaks in Saskatchewan

Officials said vaccination is the best protection against COVID-19, with two doses of an mRNA vaccine approved in Canada required to be fully vaccinated.

A person is not considered fully vaccinated until 14 days after the second dose is administered.

The majority of the current cases in Saskatchewan during the fourth wave are in people who are not vaccinated.

On Thursday, the province announced 460 new cases, with 381 of those cases in unvaccinated people, including 111 in children under the age of 12 who are unable to be vaccinated.

The province said even if people are fully vaccinated, they should take all preventative measures to break the chain of transmission, including masking in indoor public settings, maintaining physical distancing and staying home if sick.

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A mandatory masking order is currently in place for all indoor public spaces in Saskatchewan.

Vaccination clinics

The Saskatchewan Health Authority is holding pop-up and walk-in vaccination clinics throughout the province.

The SHA said those are targeting under and unvaccinated communities.

The health authority said it is adding more clinics due to the increased demand.

It cautioned that clinics are subject to change based on demand and resources.

Clinic locations and times are listed on the SHA website.

Vaccination shots are also available at participating pharmacies.

Proof of vaccination

Saskatchewan residents with a MySaskHealthRecord account are now able to view their COVID-19 vaccination record in a new format that includes a QR (Quick Response) code.

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It can be downloaded, saved, printed and viewed on mobile devices.

The COVID-19 vaccination certificate with the QR code can be accessed at eHealth.

Wallet cards received at the time of vaccination may be considered acceptable proof of vaccination, depending on the Saskatchewan business or venue’s policies.

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