Saskatchewan Expects 180,000 Vaccine Doses Early Next Year: Health Minister

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Premier Scott Moe speaks to media after the announcement of his new cabinet at Government House in Regina on November 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Michael Bell

The Saskatchewan government expects to receive 180,000 doses of vaccine against COVID-19 early next year.

Health Minister Paul Merriman says the vaccine would come from orders being placed by the federal government.

He says seniors and front-line health-care workers would likely be the first to receive the vaccine.

Saskatchewan is dealing with a rise in COVID-19 cases, and has introduced stricter public health measures such as limiting household gatherings to five people.

Health officials reported 98 new infections today, but said weather and other issues meant some samples didn’t arrive at the lab in time to be reflected in the daily count.

Hospital admissions have increased to 83, with a total of 21 people receiving intensive care.

Saskatchewan’s chief medical health officer, Dr. Saqib Shahab, says the province has the third-highest rate of active cases in the country.

He says every positive infection has about 11 contacts, which has put pressure on contact tracing, particularly in Saskatoon.

The University of Saskatchewan says data collected by a team looking at the virus’s spread through samples of wastewater shows the city is likely to see an exponential growth of infections averaging between 100 to 150 new cases a day.

Court of Queen’s Bench has suspended jury trials scheduled between now and the rest of the year because of the increase in cases.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 19, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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