The Saskatchewan Health Authority will begin administering COVID-19 vaccines in elementary and high schools across the province in June. Delivery dates are currently being finalized with local education officials. Once dates are confirmed, they will be communicated directly to parents through individual schools.
"Saskatchewan has been leading the country with one of the most aggressive vaccination programs and now we are building further on that with the addition of a school-based vaccination program," Health Minister Paul Merriman said. "The option of school vaccinations provides greater convenience for parents who want to see their children provided protection through vaccination."
There will be more than 90,000 vaccines in total for individuals 12 years of age and older. Children in this age group will only receive the Pfizer brand of vaccine. This is the last group currently approved for immunization, with the hopes of expanding to younger populations in the fall, as vaccines are nationally approved for their use.
SHA drive-thru, walk-in and booked appointments will be reduced during the school immunizations over the course of approximately three weeks to ensure this group is immunized prior to the end of the school year.
Pharmacy booked appointments will continue to be available to all eligible age categories.
"Our public health teams are skilled and equipped to deliver immunizations within the school system," SHA's CEO Scott Livingstone said. "We want to utilize this well-established system over the next three weeks, before school is out for the summer, to vaccinate as many eligible youth as we can and protect them and their families."
Written consent will be required for all ages 12-17, primarily for tracking purposes, in case the child receives one dose at school and one elsewhere. There will only be one consent required for both doses. Parents are encouraged to talk directly with their children about consent and the importance of receiving their COVID vaccination.
Information about Pfizer and frequently asked questions are available at https://www.saskatchewan.ca/covid19-youth-vaccine.
Additional options are available for students who are home-schooled, for students who wish to access immunization sooner, or if parents wish to accompany their child to their appointment. These options include:
• Any participating pharmacy in Saskatchewan;
• By attending a drive-thru or walk-in clinic — note that these clinics will operate on reduced schedules in June in order to support school-based immunization during the week days;
• Online booking is available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week; or
• By calling 1-833-SASKVAX (727-5829).