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Saskatchewan’s premier and top doctor say that phase two of the province’s vaccination plan is set to begin in early April.

Saskatchewan’s premier and top doctor say that phase two of the province’s vaccination plan is set to begin in early April.
“There’s a growing optimism on our accelerated vaccine delivery schedule,” said Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Saqib Shahab at a press conference in Regina Tuesday. 
Nearly 94,000 COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in Saskatchewan to date, according to the province. That is approximately 8,000 shots per 100,000 people.
That’s the second highest ratio of any province, and 20 per cent above the national average of 6,600 shots per 100,000 people, according to the province. 
“Late last week, we received an updated vaccine distribution schedule from the federal government, which included a significant increase in the Pfizer doses over the next few weeks,” said Premier Scott Moe. 
“Between Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca, we now expect to receive about 124,000 more doses by the end of March. That’s more doses in the next three weeks than we have received in the first three months of our vaccinations.”
Last week the province announced it would be delaying second doses to ensure that everyone can get their first dose more quickly.
“This will be a very important milestone because it will mean everyone age 70 and above will have had their chance to get their first shot by early in April,” Moe said. 
Moe says this should significantly reduce the number of serious COVID-19 cases as well as hospitalizations.
“And we’ve seen based on the number of vaccines we now expect to receive, we should be able to begin vaccinating people in their 60s by April the 5th, people in their 50s by April the 19th, people in their 40s by May the 10th, [and] people in their 30s by May the 31st.”
That means that by June 14, those under 30 years old will be able to get vaccinated. 
The province will soon launch a new website and a toll-free number for immunization bookings. This will allow Saskatchewan residents to book their own appointment online or over the phone when appointments open up to their age group.
Saskatchewan’s first shipment of 15,500 doses of the newly approved AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine arrived Tuesday. The province says administration of the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine is expected to begin in the coming days.
The new vaccine is not recommended for those 65 and older. 
“Because of the higher case numbers that we have in Regina, we will be opening up the drive-thru location in Regina for people aged 60 to 64 and priority health care workers to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine,” said Moe.
Drive-thru clinics will be operated on a first-come, first-serve basis.
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