Saskatchewan

Sask. to begin offering COVID-19 vaccinations for kids 6 months to 5 years old this week

Saskatchewan parents will be able to book COVID-19 vaccine appointments for their children six months to five years old this Thursday and Friday, while supplies last.

Appointments open for immunocompromised children Thursday, other children Friday

Saskatchewan will start rolling out COVID vaccines to children six months to five years old this week. (Lisi Niesner/Reuters)

Saskatchewan parents will be able to book COVID-19 vaccine appointments for their children six months to five years old beginning this Thursday and Friday, while supplies last.

"I'm very pleased that today we can extend that protection to more members of our family," said Dr. Julie Kryzanowski, Saskatchewan's deputy chief medical officer, during a media event Wednesday. 

The province will start booking appointments for immunocompromised children in that age range Thursday at 8:45 a.m. CST, the government announced Wednesday morning. 

All bookings Thursday must be made by calling 1-833-Sask-VAX (1-833-727-5829). The province says you can also book appointments for other children six months to five years old in the same household at that time.

Bookings for all other children in that age range will open Friday morning, and bookings can be made online starting at 8:00 a.m. CST or by phone at 8:45 a.m. CST. 

Kryzanowski said she urges parents to get their little ones vaccinated because COVID-19 is still a risk. 

"Fortunately, the majority of children with COVID-19 have mild or asymptomatic disease. But some children, even those previously healthy, can get severe disease and require hospitalization," Kryzanowski said.

"In addition, children who have had COVID-19 disease are at risk of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in children, and post-COVID condition and vaccination does protect against these serious outcomes."

Dr. Julie Kryzanowski, Saskatchewan's deputy chief medical officer, said she urges parents to get their little ones vaccinated because COVID-19 is still a risk. 

Unprotected

Like many new parents, the pandemic has been hard for Darren Yankow. He has a two-year-old son who he's worked hard to keep safe from COVID-19. Yankow said he'll be booking an appointment first thing Friday morning. 

"It's really exciting that he's going to have some protection soon," Yankow said. 

He said the province left little protection for children by getting rid of vaccine and mask mandates.

"It is a very frustrating comparison to, say, even myself. I've had three doses already and I think my first dose was like May of 2021. So we've had protection for over a year, and the little ones have been forgotten about to a point."

Yankow said he's looking forward to going out for activities with his son, following the vaccination. 

"Once he does have some protection, that's when [we'll] really start enjoying being able to go out, do a few more things. So hopefully he benefits from it in the future."

Vaccine supply

The province says it only has 13,000 vaccine doses for this first round of bookings. Officials said about 50 sites across the province will be offering the vaccines. 

Saskatchewan Health Authority COVID vaccine lead Sheila Anderson said it's likely that the SHA will fully administer these 13,000 doses before the next vaccine delivery arrives in August.

A vial of vaccine on a table.
A vial of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for children 6 months through 5 years old. (Mary Altaffer/The Associated Press)

Anderson said there are approximately 70,000 children in Saskatchewan's six months to five-years-old age category. 

"If we looked at the uptake of our vaccine in our five years to 12 year old group, it's just over 40 per cent. And so if we thought about the same uptake percentage, around the 40 per cent, we're looking at around 35,000 doses of vaccine that we would need to meet the same coverage or uptake rate as the older children population."

A specific date for the arrival of more vaccines has not been determined yet. 

Children who have had COVID-19 should wait eight weeks before receiving a vaccine, the province says.

Immunocompromised children should receive three doses, with four to eight weeks between each dose, while other children should wait eight weeks between doses, the province says.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Laura is a journalist for CBC Saskatchewan. She is also the community reporter for CBC's virtual road trip series Land of Living Stories. Laura previously worked for CBC Vancouver. Some of her former work has appeared in the Globe and Mail, NYLON Magazine, VICE Canada and The Tyee. Laura specializes in health-care, arts, environmental and human interest coverage. She holds a master of journalism degree from the University of British Columbia. Follow Laura on Twitter: @MeLaura. Send her news tips at laura.sciarpelletti@cbc.ca

With files from Yasmine Ghania

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?

now