Saskatchewan ending COVID-19 mass vaccination sites, moving to outreach program

WATCH: Saskatchewan is taking a new approach to target people who are unvaccinated or under-vaccinated.

Saskatchewan is changing its focus on its COVID-19 vaccine delivery.

Starting Aug. 8, the province said it is turning its focus to delivering vaccines to people who have not received a second shot or are unvaccinated.

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Drive-in clinics and booking appointments through the online system will end, but Saskatchewan Health Minister Paul Merriman said that doesn’t mean the province’s vaccination program will stop.

“This focused outreach is to further drive first and second dose uptake, meeting residents where they live, work and play and support individuals in their decision to make our province as safe as possible,” Merriman said in a statement Monday.

The Saskatchewan Health Authority will shift to walk-in clinics at a number of public venues, including summer events, retails locations, powwows, provincial parks and recreation areas.

Pharmacies will continue to provide COVID-19 vaccinations by appointment.

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Health officials said they now have vaccine supplies to fully immunize 85 per cent of the population and said supply is not a limiting factor in achieving vaccination goals.

More than 14,000 vaccinations were delivered in the province on the weekend, with 62 per cent of the population aged 12 and older now fully vaccinated.

“As much progress as we’ve made towards immunizing the province we want to remind people that COVID-19 is still here and we will see cases throughout the summer, especially for unvaccinated individuals,” said Sheila Anderson, the SHA’s emergency operation centre vaccine chief.

The province reported 336 active COVID-19 cases on Sunday, with the seven-day average of daily new cases at 34, or 2.9 per 100,000 population.

Merriman urged people who have not yet done so to get vaccinated to prevent the transmission of COVID-19.

“All residents are strongly encouraged to take advantage of the readily available and convenient clinic options available now through Aug. 8,” he said.

“First or second dose, now is the time to stick it to COVID.”

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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