Saskatchewan

'We're better than that': Premier Moe urges against jumping vaccination queue

Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Saqib Shahab says the province's second phase age-based approach will make it simple for medical clinics to make sure the right people are getting vaccinated at the appropriate time. 

Age-based vaccination easy for medical clinics to monitor: chief medical health officer

Phase 2 of Saskatchewan's vaccine rollout plan focuses on the general population being vaccinated by 10-year age increments and by vulnerability, beginning with those ages 60 to 69. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

The province says Saskatchewan residents should not entertain the idea of trying to skip the vaccination queue. 

Phase two of the province's vaccination distribution plan was released on Tuesday. It focuses on the general population being vaccinated in 10-year age increments and by vulnerability, beginning with those ages 60 to 69.

Phase two is expected to begin in April, depending on vaccine dose supply from the federal government. 

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe urged residents, during a COVID-19 update in Regina on Thursday, to wait their turn. 

"When you are jumping the queue ... that means that that vaccine will not be available to someone that will be older than you and ultimately would be at risk of much more severe health outcomes than you might be. And we're better than that in this province," said Moe. 

The premier said the province needs to ensure that it makes "a very scarce supply of vaccines" available to the elderly and vulnerable as quickly as possible. 

There have been instances of queue-jumping in other provinces. 

A nurse at a Toronto-area long-term care home recently said she was told to give COVID-19 vaccines to at least one board member, and family members and friends of several managers. Her union has filed a complaint with public health authorities.

In January, some doctors in Vancouver jumped the queue to get a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Incoming vaccine supply

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe urged residents, during a COVID-19 update in Regina on Thursday, to wait their turn.  (Michael Bell/The Canadian Press)

Moe says Saskatchewan expects to receive a substantial number of vaccine doses from the federal government mid-March and that Canada is projected to get more than three million additional doses of vaccine in the last couple of weeks of March.

"The last couple of weeks of the first quarter [we] will receive about 50 per cent of our vaccine allocation. That's when we will achieve the 3,000 doses a day. We will then double that if we have the vaccines available as we get into the first month of the second quarter, or April," said Moe. 

"Everyone will get their opportunity to have an access to a vaccine. That's how we traditionally treat one another here in Saskatchewan. And I would ask that Saskatchewan people continue to to act accordingly."

Monitoring those getting vaccinated

Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Saqib Shahab says the province's second phase age-based approach will make it simple for medical clinics to make sure the right people are getting vaccinated at the appropriate time. 

Those going in for a vaccine will need to show a health card or personal I.D., according to Shahab. 

"If we are going to get the high volumes of vaccine we've been promised in March and April, the age-based approach is going to be the way to go to get lots of people in quickly into clinics."

The province says information will be publicly shared to let people know when it is their time to be vaccinated. When the time comes, appointments will be able to be booked online or through HealthLine 811. 

"I think we had one of the most successful vaccination programs in 2009 during the H1N1 pandemic ... We've seen throughout Saskatchewan ... people do get to know when it's their turn and come at the right time," said Shahab, voicing his confidence in the COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan. 

Shahab says that those 70 and older should not be worried if they are not able to go in for their vaccine now. They can go whenever they are ready. 

"Once eligible, always eligible."

(CBC News Graphics)

CBC Saskatchewan wants to hear how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted you. Share your story with our online questionnaire.    

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Laura is a reporter and associate producer 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. Follow Laura on Twitter: @MeLaura. Send her news tips at laura.sciarpelletti@cbc.ca

now