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“The benefits are enormous:” Saskatchewan delays second vaccination by four months | BC

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The Regina-Saskatchewan state government has become more optimistic about the fight against COVID-19 and has announced that it will join other states by delaying the second dose of vaccine to speed up vaccination.

Prime Minister Scott Moe said in a press conference with other Prime Ministers Thursday that he would take the second shot up to four months after the first shot, in line with recent recommendations from Canada’s National Immunization Commission. ..

Alberta, Manitoba, and other states made similar announcements after British Columbia announced on Monday that it would first shift to a four-month delay.

Changes occur as health experts point out people who are well protected from the new coronavirus on the first dose and that the country faces a limited supply of vaccines.

“The benefits are tremendous,” said Dr. Sakib Shahab, chief health officer of Saskatchewan, in a briefing.

“You can get out of the pandemic three months earlier than expected. The two-dose program took until September. Now everyone over the age of 18 can be vaccinated by June. . “

State health officials said from Friday the staff would only give the first shot. This change does not apply to those who have booked a second dose, care facility residents and staff, and people in personal care homes.

According to Shahab, outbreaks and infections have decreased in long-term care facilities since vaccinations began.

To date, Saskatchewan has been vaccinated approximately 84,000 times out of the approximately 400,000 shots required to inoculate residents aged 70 and over and healthcare workers at risk of COVID-19 exposure. ..

Scott Livingstone, chief executive officer of the Saskatchewan Department of Health, said he hopes that most of these vaccinations in the first phase of the state’s vaccination program will end in early April. It was.

He also sought patience as authorities had to adjust the way vaccines were administered.

Saskatchewan reported 169 new COVID-19 cases and two more deaths on Thursday. The 1.1 million states also continue to lead Canada with the highest percentage of active cases per capita.

Moe said earlier in the week that delaying the second dose of the vaccine would significantly change the amount of time public health restrictions need to be maintained.

The current order is valid until March 19th. Shahab said a decision on which rules to relax could come next week.

“I know it’s very difficult for people to not meet at home,” he said.

“In the past, a couple of households existed as up to 10 bubbles, which is what we are paying attention to.”

The Ministry of Health has also announced that it will use 15,000 doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine for people aged 60 to 64 and certain healthcare professionals. The National Committee recommends not to use it for the elderly.

The state said these vaccinations will begin later this month and will allow eligible residents to book by phone via a system scheduled to begin next week.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on March 4, 2021.

Canadian press. all rights reserved.

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