Premier Scott Moe Says Procuring Own Vaccine Supply is an Option, Urges People Not to Jump Ahead While Waiting to be Immunized

Premier Scott Moe says the option of Saskatchewan procuring its own batch of vaccinations is not off the table.

On Thursday, Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister announced the purchase of two million doses of a vaccine being developed by Providence Therapeutics, based in Alberta.  Moe says the province will consider this option with the understanding that there has already been a significant investment in domestic vaccine production at Saskatoon’s VIDO.  He says this investment with the Federal government has gone towards the construction of a vaccine production facility, which is being constructed as quickly as possible.  Moe notes that VIDO has entered into their human trails and this could lead to VIDO having their own vaccine sometime in the New Year, possibly at a similar time to the Providence vaccine.

The Premier says VIDO currently has two applications in to the Federal government.  One to fund phase 3 of their vaccination development and secondly a application to become Canada’s centre of pandemic research.

Concerns Over Vaccination Sequencing

The Premier says he has heard concerns over the phase 2 vaccination sequencing introduced earlier this week.

Moe says he’s heard concerns from healthcare workers about not being apart of phase 2, but suggests public health officials are currently working on revisions that could add additional categories of healthcare workers to phase 1.  Moe reports there are other groups that have come forward to advocate they should be vaccinated sooner.  He understands why people might feel that way, suggesting if the province had more vaccinations available from the Federal government, we would be able to look at getting everyone vaccinated a lot more quickly then we have so far.  Moe says the reality of the situation is we are dealing with a very scarce supply of vaccines in Saskatchewan and across Canada.

Moe suggests sequencing by age is the best way to vaccinate as many people as possible, as quickly as possible. He says the stark reality of the situation is elderly people tend to have more serious outcomes from COVID-19.

The Premier hopes by the middle of March the province will see up to 4,000 vaccinations per day and 7,000 by the middle of April.

Premier Urges People Not to Jump Ahead

Scott Moe is asking Saskatchewan residents to not entertain the thought of jumping ahead of the queue for COVID-19 vaccinations.  The Premier says we all want access to these vaccinations as quickly as possible, but there are two reasons he asks people not to jump ahead.  First off it means that the vaccine will not be available to someone older than you and ultimately would be at risk of more severe health outcomes.  Moe says “we’re better than that in this province and we need to prioritize those that are at risk of having the most severe outcomes from COVID-19.”
The Premier says the second reason is once vaccination doses begin to arrive, the province will begin to move through the vaccination sequencing quite quickly and everyone will get the opportunity to have access to the vaccine.  Moe suggests not jumping ahead is traditionally how people treat one another in Saskatchewan and he would ask residents to continue to act accordingly.

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