Optimism growing for winter outlook for COVID-19 in province

There is growing confidence that Saskatchewan may not be heading towards a winter of misery created by COVID-19.

Chief Medical Health Officer Saqib Shahab says that improved vaccination rates is biggest reason for the increased optimism.

He says that we still need to remain cautious. “We can’t let our attention slipped. Winter months are going to be critical, we still have about 20% of the eligible population who’s unvaccinated, another 12% who’s under 11, who’s not eligible to get vaccinated, things can spike up very quickly.”

The province released their COVID-19 vaccination and breakthrough for the month of October. Of the 10,018 cases reported during the month, 73% came from individuals who were unvaccinated or within of three weeks of receiving their first vaccination.

There was 461 hospitalized cases in Saskatchewan during October, 76.4% of the cases were from individuals who were unvaccinated or within three weeks of their first immunization. There were 6 hospitalized cases from children who were 11 and under.

98 individuals were admitted to ICU due to COVID-19, 85 of them were from individuals who were unvaccinated or within three weeks of their first vaccine.

Health Canada officially approved a booster for Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for individuals over the age of 18. The booster has already been in effect for high risk individuals in Saskatchewan.

Shahab says they are recommending that health care staff who are working the frontlines to receive a booster shot.  He adds that they are still waiting on possible approval for the boosters of the AstraZeneca and Johnson and Johnson vaccines.

The Saskatchewan Health Authority is continuing to work on the plan of rolling back health care services in the province.

Derek Miller from the SHA says that he is hopeful that the organ donation program will resume at the end of the month. “We are hoping to see a reduction in our ICU and acute demand which will allows us to start redeploying those staff away from those services back to their home units, the organ donation program would be one of those services that with those people back to that program by the end of November.”


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