Second doses have made a surge in Saskatchewan, but the province still needs a significant number of people to get their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine before the government can lift all remaining restrictions.
On Tuesday, Premier Scott Moe said approximately 75,000 more people need to get their first dose for the province to reach the marker of having 70 per cent of people 12 and over partially vaccinated. By Friday, that number was down to about 66,000.
That 70 per cent vaccination marker for those 12 and up is one of the triggers for the third step of the province's three-stage reopening plan.
That step would see restrictions on large gatherings lifted and the indoor mask mandate removed. The earliest possible date for that step is July 11, because those measures cannot be lifted until three weeks after the planned June 20 start date for Step 2.
A total of approximately 724,000 people in Saskatchewan need to get a first dose to reach the 70 per cent point for the 12 and over population.
As of Friday, more than 657,000 people had received a first dose.
From Thursday to Friday, 5,066 people received a first dose, while 10,567 people got their second dose.
Both first and second doses increased in every region of the province from last week.
Last week, six per cent of those 12 and over had been fully vaccinated. As of Thursday, that had increased to 9.8 per cent.
The regions which saw the biggest jump in second doses were the province's northeast, which went from seven per cent to 12 per cent, and the central west, which increased from six to 12 per cent.
The area with the smallest population, the far north central, has 19 per cent of eligible residents fully vaccinated, but only 31 per cent have received a first dose — the lowest percentage in the province.
The other two far north regions are next lowest in first doses received. Forty per cent of those in the far northwest have one dose, while 44 per cent of those in the far northeast have a first dose.
Regina and Saskatoon lead the way, with 66 and 63 per cent of those 12 and over vaccinated with one dose. The northeast (62 per cent), south central (61), and central east (60) have all cracked the 60 per cent marker.