Province’s COVID-19 vaccination rates falling well below national averages

After some good numbers in the early stages of the COVID-19 vaccination process started a little over a year ago, the province’s vaccination rate has stalled.

Over 80 per cent of the province’s active population is fully vaccinated, and just 43 percent of those eligible receiving their booster shot.

Health Minister Paul Merriman says those numbers are not high enough.

“We need to get as high a vaccination rate as we possible can because COVID is not over,” Merriman said in a media scrum. “People need to get their booster shots. They need to get their second dose. It may not be as harmful as the delta wave, the omicron wave, but it can still hit some people very hard.”

Merriman says he doesn’t understand why people haven’t been vaccinated yet.

“It is their personal choice, I respect that,” he said. “But it’s not just about yourself, It’s about other people in your community and your family to be able to protect them as well. I would hope we get up to 80 or 90 per cent of booster shots. But I’m not sure if we’ll get there.”

Both of Saskatchewan’s rates of full vaccination and booster shot uptake are below the national averages of 84 and 48 percent.

“Everybody that’s got two shots and a booster is one less we have to worry about in our health care system,” Merriman said.

(with files from Tanner Wallace-Scribner)

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