Saskatchewan residents line up for hours to get COVID-19 booster before the holidays

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WATCH: People across the province are braving the icy December winds to get their booster shot in time for the holidays now that the COVID-19 third dose is available to anyone 18 and up – Dec 20, 2021

On Monday morning, Saskatchewan residents had an early and chilly start to get a COVID-19 booster shot before the holiday season.

Saskatoon’s Prairieland Park was open to appointments and walk-ins for third doses of the COVID-19 vaccine — which is officially open to anyone 18 and up in the province.

In Regina, the Saskatchewan Health Authority says walk-ins are not being accepted at the old Costco location, which had previously been used for testing and vaccine appointments.

Read more: COVID-19: Saskatchewan expands booster program Monday to those 18 and up

The Victoria Square Mall location is operating as a walk-in vaccine clinic, but with lines growing quickly it began turning people in line away Monday afternoon when wait times reportedly reached five hours.

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The SHA was unable to provide Global News with any information about the number of bookings made or possible wait times in the province.

When a Global News camera crew was on Saskatoon clinic premises at Prairieland Park to find more information, they were asked to leave by SHA staff.

The government, however, was able to offer more details and said more than 18,000 bookings were made on Monday for booster shots through the online system by 1 p.m.

Read more: Global vaccination equity, booster shots key to getting out of COVID-19 pandemic, says Shahab

Pharmacies are also offering the boosters by appointment.

According to people leaving the clinic in Saskatoon, booking ahead is the way to go.

“We had appointments,” said Jim Alcock on his way out of the clinic. “So it looked like that was the quicker way.”

Read more: Huge COVID-19 wastewater spikes in Sask. no cause for alarm: researcher

“Very simple,” another Saskatoon woman said on her way out. “You just walk in, they ask what time your appointment is, (you go) into a line … and in about 45 minutes (it’s) done.”

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They also say to bundle up for a chilly wait if you’re walking in for a booster shot ahead of the holiday season.

Read more: Declared COVID-19 outbreaks in Saskatchewan

“It’s definitely worth going home or on your phone and booking an appointment,” said Brian Bryce who was outside the clinic on Monday.


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