As Pfizer-BioNTech becomes the first company to formally request Health Canada approve their vaccine for kids aged 5 to 11, Saskatchewan health officials say preparations are underway to rollout the shot to the new age group.
“The Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA), along with the Ministry of Health, is working with other partners to make plans to vaccinate children 5 to 11,” Saskatchewan Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Saqib Shahab said Monday.
“Where those vaccines will happen will depend on the context. It could be SHA-run clinics, other settings, pharmacies, as well as family based clinics.”
The potential rollout likely won’t be immune, however, to the challenges already facing the vaccination campaign in Saskatchewan.
A new Angus Reid survey suggests that over a quarter of Saskatchewan parents aren’t planning to
The new survey, published Monday, asked 153 parents from Saskatchewan and Manitoba for their plans if and when a vaccine becomes available for 5 to 11-year-old Canadians.
While 53 per cent of respondents said they will vaccinate their children as soon as they become eligible, 26 per cent said they won’t get a vaccine for their child — the third-highest rate of any region surveyed.
While the province has for months touted vaccination as the way out of the pandemic, Saskatchewan still lags behind other jurisdictions in general vaccination rates.
The survey results had the Saskatchewan NDP calling for proactive action ahead of the potential Health Canada approval.
“This is a logistical issue to get those vaccines out but this is also an opportunity to start planning for messaging – for education for parents to reduce that vaccine hesitancy,” said Education and Early Learning Critic Carla Beck Monday.
“Some people may just have a specific question. Perhaps their child has a particular allergy or condition. It might just take some information.”
Beck also called on the provincial government to create a pre-registration system for kids 5-11, similar to what as been done in British Columbia, to help organize rollout and promote vaccination.
Of 2235 new COVID-19 cases registered in Saskatchewan over the past seven days, 565 (25.3 per cent) were detected in people 11 and under.
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