Saskatchewan officials held a media briefing Thursday morning which saw Dr. Saqib Shahab, the province’s chief medical health officer present modeling data for the month of November.
His report highlighted the fact that both hospitalizations and ICU admissions are down over the last two weeks by 29 per cent and 41 per cent, respectively. However, out of the western province’s, Saskatchewan continues to have the highest hospitalizations and ICU admissions per 100,000.
Shahab also dove into the province’s vaccination uptake which has four regions in the province, including one big in the northwest with less than 50 per cent of its population not fully vaccinated. Saskatchewan’s top doctor suggested that providing clinics closer to communities, addressing transportation issues and vaccination hesitancy would help with addressing the lower vaccination rates in rural and remote areas.
Shahab did note that the regions that have less than 50 per cent of their residents fully vaccinated are in places with a sparse population, adding that Regina and Saskatoon make up for half of the province’s population and the urban centres have a higher uptake for those getting vaccinated.
When asked about Health Canada potentially approving Pfizer’s pediatric vaccine for children ages 5-11 as early as Friday, Shahab says the province will be ready to receive those vaccines and administer them as soon as they become available.
Shahab added that once residents become eligible for their third booster to receive it and to get a flu shot to help reduce the spread of other infections.
Marlo Pritchard of the Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency said during the briefing that there are 95 new cases of the novel coronavirus in Saskatchewan Thursday. 161 residents are in hospital with 38 in an ICU and there are 54 non-COVID patients receiving care in ICUs. 11 Saskatchewan patients are getting treated in Ontario for COVID. 11 residents have been transferred back to Saskatchewan with another two expected within the next 48 hours.
The numbers are subject to change once today’s dashboard update is uploaded to the government’s website.