COVID-19 VACCINATION BOOSTERS EFFECTIVE AGAINST SERIOUS ILLNESS

December 20, 2021 Single Biggest Day for Vaccination Bookings

While the COVID positive case numbers and hospitalizations have declined, the percentage of those positive cases that are from the Omicron variant is climbing.  As of December 20, there are 82 Omicron variant cases and the rates of this highly transmissible virus is expected to grow, similar to other jurisdictions in Canada and the world. Currently none of the 82 individuals infected with the Omicron variant are hospitalized.

COVID-19 vaccine booster doses are appearing to provide additional protection against severe illness and hospitalization from the Omicron variant.  On Monday, December 20, 2021 Saskatchewan expanded its age eligibility for COVID boosters to anyone 18 years of age and older.  Vaccinations can be booked online at www.saskatchewan.ca/covid19-vaccine, or by phone at 1-833-SASKVAX.

December 20, 2021 was officially the single largest COVID-19 vaccine booking day on the SHA system. The previous record set on June 21 was 27, 379 and was beaten yesterday by almost 5,000 more doses with 32,337 vaccinations booked, with 80 per cent of those being for people aged 18 to 49. 

 To date, 227,768 third and fourth doses have been administered in the province.

The current public health measures will also provide protection again Omicron including masking in indoor public spaces, providing proof of vaccination or negative test results for event venues and non-essential businesses. A complete list is available here.

Holiday Guidance

As we approach the holiday season, it is strongly recommended that individuals take advantage of the rapid COVID self-test kits before gathering with friends or family, especially if there are vulnerable family members or children too young to be vaccinated.  A list of locations where the free test-kits can be picked up is available on the website at https://www.saskatchewan.ca/government/health-care-administration-and-provider-resources/treatment-procedures-and-guidelines/emerging-public-health-issues/2019-novel-coronavirus/testing-information/rapid-testing/locations-for-rapid-antigen-self-test-kits.

If you are hosting, consider opportunities to increase ventilation by opening windows for a couple minutes now and then. View some handy tips for easy ways to enhance ventilation at home at https://www.saskatchewan.ca/government/health-care-administration-and-provider-resources/treatment-procedures-and-guidelines/emerging-public-health-issues/2019-novel-coronavirus/living-with-covid-19/tips-for-ventilation.

And most importantly, do not attend or host social gatherings if feeling unwell.

Vaccination Clinics and Testing over Christmas

The Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) will continue to offer vaccinations and booked Drive-Thru and Walk-In Testing over the holiday period. However, hours may be subject to change on short notice so check the website for the latest Information on clinic availability at COVID-19 Vaccine Walk-in Clinic 

Anyone with COVID symptoms should seek testing immediately.  Symptomatic individuals can book COVID tests online through the SHA Patient Booking System or visit a drive-thru or walk-in testing site. Anyone who receives a negative test result but continues to experience COVID-19 symptoms should be retested.

COVID Reporting over Holidays

From December 24 to December 27 inclusive the website and COVID-19 dashboard will not be updated. On Tuesday December 28, the website will include a total accumulated number of positive cases over the four-day period as well as a breakdown of cases by day.

The website and dashboard will also not be updated on the New Year’s weekend and government statutory holiday January 1 to January 3 inclusive. The website and dashboard will resume with total accumulated numbers and breakdown of cases by day on January 4, 2022.

Saskatchewan is currently the only province other than Ontario that provides comprehensive COVID data updates seven days a week. All other provinces and territories do not report COVID updates on weekends.

COVID-19 Summary for December 21, 2021:

  • From December 15 – 21, 10,176 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been given in Saskatchewan, bringing the total number of vaccines administered in the province to 1,787,369.  An additional 58,403 third and fourth doses have been administered in the province.
  • As of December 14, 88 per cent of residents 12 years and older and 83 per cent of residents five years older have received their first dose.  Eighty-three per cent of residents 12 years and older and 75 per cent of residents five years and older are fully vaccinated.
  • There were 433 new cases of COVID-19 to report in Saskatchewan from December 15 – 21, bringing the provincial total to 82,334 cases. There were 422 recoveries recorded during the same period.
  • The seven-day average of new COVID-19 cases in Saskatchewan is currently 62 (5.1 per 100,000).
  • Two new deaths were reported December 15 – 21.
  • There were 288 new lineage results reported for December 15 – 21.
  • As of December 21, there are 98 people in hospital: 67 are receiving inpatient care and 31 are in intensive care.  Fifty-eight of the people in hospital (59.2 per cent) are not fully vaccinated.  
  • Since October 25, 26 monoclonal antibody infusion treatments have been delivered. There was an error in a previously reported number, which has been corrected.
  • From December 15 – 21, there were 11,136 COVID-19 tests processed in Saskatchewan.