Saskatchewan has developed a COVID-19 Vaccine Delivery Plan, and will be ready to administer the vaccine when the first shipment is received. Saskatchewan is working closely with the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) which negotiates and procures vaccines directly with manufacturers on behalf of provinces and territories. PHAC has established agreements with Astra Zeneca, Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline, Novavax, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, Medicago, and Moderna to secure COVID-19 vaccines for Canadians.
What Vaccines Have Been Approved?
On December 9, 2020, PHAC has approved The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 mRNA vaccine (Tozinameran or BNT162b2). The vaccine is approved for people who are 16 years of age and older. Its safety and effectiveness in people younger than 16 years of age have not yet been established. Read more about how the Pfizer vaccine works.
The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine (mRNA-1273) is used to prevent COVID-19. This disease is caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The vaccine is approved for people who are 18 years of age and older. Its safety and effectiveness in people younger than 18 years of age have not yet been established. Read more about how the Moderna vaccine works.
The AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine (ChAdOx1-S) is used to prevent COVID-19. On February 26th, 2021 Health Canada authorized 2 manufacturers of the ChAdOx1-S vaccine:
1. AstraZeneca (brand name AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine)
2. Verity Pharmaceuticals and Serum Institute of India (SII) in collaboration with AstraZeneca (brand name COVISHIELD Vaccine)
The vaccine is approved for people who are 18 years of age and older. Its safety and effectiveness in people younger than 18 years of age have not yet been established. Viral vector-based vaccines use a harmless virus, such as an adenovirus, as a delivery system. This “vector” virus is not the virus that causes COVID-19. Adenoviruses are among the viruses that can cause the common cold. There are many different types of adenoviruses, and many have been used as delivery systems for other vector-based vaccines for decades.When a person is given the vaccine, the vector virus contained within the vaccine produces the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. This protein is found on the surface of the virus that causes COVID-19. This protein will not make you sick. It does its job by building a strong immune response to COVID-19, then goes away.
Saskatchewan's COVID-19 Vaccine Delivery Strategy
Saskatchewan will have a phased approach to the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, with the ability to scale up being possible in each phase.
Pilot: December 15, 2020
- Isolated pilot with 1,950 doses to immunize 1,950 health care workers in Regina working in ICUs, Emergency Departments, and COVID units at Regina General Hospital and Pasqua Hospitals.
Phase 1: Late December, 2020
- Planned administration of 202,052 doses from the Pfizer vaccine. Moderna vaccine to be distributed to Northern and remote communities.
- Targeted immunization of priority populations.
- Priority populations include: health care workers, long-term care staff/residents, and vulnerable populations. (please see the SK Government's page on vaccine delivery phases for more detailed information)
- Residents aged 70 years and older in all communities.
- Residents over the age of 50 living in remote/Northern Saskatchewan.
Phase 2: Expected to begin April - June 2021
Phase 2 began March 18, 2021
Focused on vaccinating the general population from oldest to youngest. Population numbers:
Age Group Estimated Population
Targeted vaccinations to select congregate living:
Group homes for persons with intellectual disabilities
People with underlying health conditions that are clinically extremely vulnerable:
NOTE: People with the following conditions will receive letters, notifying them of their eligibility for Phase 2 priority sequencing, regardless of age. This letter is required in order to book an appointment.
People with severe respiratory conditions including all cystic fibrosis, severe asthma and severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Solid organ transplant recipients.
People with specific cancers:
People with cancer who are undergoing active chemotherapy.
People with lung cancer who are undergoing radical radiotherapy.
People with cancers of the blood or bone marrow such as leukemia, lymphoma or myeloma who are at any stage of treatment.
People having immunotherapy or other continuing antibody treatments for cancer.
People having other targeted cancer treatments that can affect the immune system, such as protein kinase inhibitors or PARP inhibitors.
People who have had bone marrow or stem cell transplants in the last six months or who are still taking immunosuppression drugs.
People with rare diseases that significantly increase the risk of infections (such as severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID), homozygous sickle cell disease).
People on immunosuppression therapies sufficient to significantly increase risk of infection (biologic modifiers, high dose steroids, AZT, cyclophosphamide).
People who had their spleen removed.
Adults with very significant developmental disabilities that increase risk.
Adults on dialysis or with chronic kidney disease (stage 5).
Women who are pregnant with significant heart disease, congenital or acquired.
Significant neuromuscular conditions requiring respiratory support.
Projected finished: Fall 2021 (depending on available vaccine supplies)