Provincial Health Minister confident residents will continue to get vaccinated as age groups lower

The province’s health minister is confident Saskatchewan residents will continue to get their vaccine as more become available.

With more than 500,000 vaccines already administered in the province, Minister Paul Merriman is happy to see people lining up to get their shot.

While uptake in older age groups seems to be slowing down, Merriman says he doesn’t expect that to be the case much longer.

“Some people are waiting and seeing, and I respect that, but now that their neighbours or their family members have been vaccinated, we’re seeing people coming in that are in that higher age range, that are coming in for the first time,” said Merriman. “We’re still encouraged that people are going to be coming in, no matter what age, and I want to remind everybody that if your age category has passed, you’re still eligible.”

Eighty-eight percent of residents aged 80 and older having received a vaccine, Merriman says it would be amazing to see the younger age categories have the same uptake.

“It’d be very interesting to see if the millennials could take up that challenge, they seem to be very interested in challenges these days. That seems to be the trending thing online,” said Merriman. “I’d like to see the challenge go out that you get your vaccination, and get your shot, and try to keep with the seniors.”

As more age groups are set to become eligible in the next few days, Merriman says the province is on track to accomplish its reopening targets.

The province is looking to expand vaccine eligibility to everyone aged 12 and older by May 20th, as it anticipates steady shipments from Moderna, Johnson and Johnson, and Pfizer.

Merriman says residents need to keep their foot on the gas so that new vaccines can be rolled out quickly.

“We are being aggressive with this, absolutely,” said Merriman. “We want to make sure that we keep the momentum going of the excitement about vaccines, we want to get that into people’s arms, and we don’t want to miss a beat on that. We want to be able to make sure that they have at least a plan on when their age category should be called.”

Residents aged 29 and older are set to be eligible starting Monday.

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