Premier Scott Moe admits the pace of the province’s vaccination program is off to more of a “sluggish start” than what the government had hoped for at this point.
While he points to the province seeing a dramatic improvement in the rate of vaccinations in the province, Moe acknowledged his concerns of the delay in Pfizer vaccine shipments over the next four weeks. He said they are expecting just over 2,900 more Pfizer doses.
“Those doses will be delivered to Regina, Fort Qu’Appelle and North Battleford where they will be administered to residents and staff at long-term care homes and personal care homes,” said Moe on Tuesday. “At the pace we are going and with the slowdown in deliveries from Pfizer, we expect that Saskatchewan will run out of vaccines over the course of the next few days.”
Moe added that Saskatchewan is expecting 17,500 Pfizer doses over the next four weeks, well below the 37,000 they were expecting to receive.
With the news from Pfizer this week, the premier said the government is now seeking clarification from the federal government on whether that will further impact Saskatchewan’s total supply of vaccines over the next four weeks.
“We will need to revise our vaccine rollout plan in the coming weeks because of this latest delay and we need the federal government to pick up the pace of vaccine deliveries in the weeks ahead,” he stated.
“Life will get back to normal when we have a significant portion of our Saskatchewan population vaccinated, but we do need access to vaccines in these early days.”
NDP calls province’s vaccine plan ‘chaotic’
Despite what Moe said on Tuesday, the NDP is not impressed with what they are calling a “chaotic and inconsistent” rollout, saying all the government has done is left the people of the province worried and confused.
“Premier Moe acted too late when the second wave of COVID-19 hit our province, and Saskatchewan families are paying the price,” said NDP leader Ryan Meili. “We cannot afford to repeat the mistakes of the second wave when it comes to something as important as vaccinating our loved ones.”
Meili said NDP MLAs have received dozens of inquiries about vaccine timelines from people in several cohorts, including healthcare workers, people who are immunocompromised, those living in group settings outside of long-term care, people working with the homeless, correctional staff, teachers, school staff, child-care staff and workers who deal directly with the public in a non-medical capacity.
The statements come after it was learned that only six of 15 residents at a long-term care home received vaccinations after being told all would get their first dose earlier this week.