COVID-19: Saskatchewan officials say unvaccinated more likely to be hospitalized

Click to play video: 'Relaxed health measures to blame for sick kids, Saskatchewan pediatrician says'
Relaxed health measures to blame for sick kids, Saskatchewan pediatrician says
WATCH: Pediatrician Dr. Ayisha Kurji feels the abnormal timing of the viral surge is partly to blame on the recent removal of covid-19 health measures – Apr 10, 2022

Saskatchewan officials say while the most recent COVID-19 breakthrough data is still being finalized, preliminary results indicate that unvaccinated residents are about five times more likely to be hospitalized versus residents with two doses and a booster.

Unvaccinated residents are about 10 times more likely to be admitted to ICU compared to residents who have received their COVID-19 vaccines and a booster dose.

“The best protection against severe COVID-19 outcomes continues to be vaccination.  Complete your primary, two-dose series and receive your booster dose(s) when eligible,” a government press release said.

Read more: Health Canada OKs AstraZeneca’s Evusheld drug for COVID-19 prevention

Currently, all residents five years and older are eligible for COVID-19 vaccination.

The following groups of people can book appointments through the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) online booking tool or through participating pharmacies:

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  • If you are 5 to 11 years of age, you are eligible for two doses of a two vaccine series.
  • If you are 12 to 69 years of age, you are eligible for two doses of a two vaccine series, plus your third dose four months following your second dose.
  • If you are 70 years or older, you are eligible for two doses of a two vaccine series plus your third dose, four months following your second dose and fourth dose four months following your third dose.
  • If you have any of a number of health conditions, the intervals between your doses are shorter.

Residents that are 70 years of age and older can book their fourth dose at SHA clinics using the online booking system.

Those living in a First Nations community or the Northern Service Administration District and are 50 years or older are eligible to book both their vaccine doses, and their booster dose four months following their second dose and their fourth dose four months after their third dose.

Click to play video: 'Fourth dose of COVID-19 vaccines now available'
Fourth dose of COVID-19 vaccines now available

These residents are asked to call 1-833-SASKVAX (727-5829) to book their booster dose appointments.

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Long-term care and personal care home residents will be directly offered their third and fourth doses from SHA.

For residents who test positive on a PCR or rapid antigen test for COVID-19, officials say they may be able to receive Paxlovid treatment to lower the risk of severe outcomes.

More information on Paxlovid and eligibility can be found on the government’s website. 

With some families and friends gathering over the Easter long weekend, the government is reminding residents of best practices to prevent COVID-19 transmission.

This includes taking a rapid test before gathering, even if you are vaccinated, and staying home and not hosting others if you are feeling unwell.

The government is also reminding eligible individuals to book their vaccine or booster appointments if they are eligible.

Increased ventilation, frequent handwashing and choosing to wear a mask in public places are other ways to lower the risk of contracting COVID-19 and transmission.

Weekly epidemiology report shows 1,051 new PCR-confirmed cases

Officials also reported the epidemiology report for the week of April 3 to April 9, showing 1,051 new PCR confirmed cases out of 7,996 tests that were performed.

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The number of new cases reflects a slight increase compared to the previous week when 1,032 cases were confirmed.

There were 375 new lineage results reported between April 3 and April 9, 100 per cent of which were Omicron.

The Omicron BA.2 sublineage accounted for 41.3 per cent of the variants of concern reported between April 3 and 9.

The government also reported 20 new COVID-19 deaths.

Read more: COVID-19: Saskatchewan 4th dose booster expansion now underway

As of April 13, there were 403 patients in Saskatchewan hospitals with COVID-19, including 25 in ICU.

Of those 403 patients, 232 have an incidental infection.

According to the province there were 43.4 COVID-like illness patients per 1,000 emergency department visits, which is higher than the average weekly rate in the previous six weeks (32.9 per week/1,000 visits).

As of April 9, 85.7 per cent of those eligible have received at least one dose of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine and 80.7 per cent have completed a series.

Among those 18 and older, 51.5 per cent have received at least one booster dose.


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