COVID-19 vaccination rate continues to rise after proof-of-vaccine announcement in Sask.

·2 min read
Vaccinations are climbing for the first time since the end of July. (Saber Zidi/The Associated Press - image credit)
Vaccinations are climbing for the first time since the end of July. (Saber Zidi/The Associated Press - image credit)

Six days after Saskatchewan announced an upcoming proof of vaccination policy, doses have been going into arms at a higher rate than they have for a month and half.

In six days the province has administered 19,245 doses. That's several thousand more any other consecutive six day period since the beginning of August.

More importantly, 10,615 of the jabs handed out in the past six days were first doses.

Saskatchewan's proof of vaccination policy, which is scheduled to go into effect on Oct. 1, appears to be getting people vaccinated.

Percentage of eligible Saskatchewan residents by vaccine dose

WATCH | COVID-19 vaccination rates are low in Sask., but starting to climb

When vaccines first became available, Saskatchewan had one of the highest vaccination rates among provinces.

Mass vaccination clinics such as the drive-thru at Evraz Place in Regina helped to assist getting doses into arms.

That helped Saskatchewan become the top province in terms of people partially and even fully vaccinated per capita.

Now the province is near the bottom of the pile.

As of Sept. 11, 78.4 per cent of Saskatchewan has received at least one dose of a vaccine.

Only the North West Territories and Alberta are below Saskatchewan.

In the weeks after Saskatchewan lifted all public COVID-19 restrictions on July 11, the rate of vaccinations dropped.

The following chart shows how both first and second doses have flatlined since July.

Daily vaccination progress in Saskatchewan

Even a climbing case count didn't seem to push the province to get more doses into arms.

But the latest data shows that is changing.

Take a look at this chart, which maps out how many first and second doses the province administered on a given day.

The number of doses have followed a clear pattern, ramping up toward the end of the week, cresting over the weekend and then falling as the next week begins.

You can see that even the predictable drops on Monday and Tuesday were nowhere as low as the previous week and the rebound has been extremely high.

The new trend is in line with what Dr. Saqib Shahab, the province's chief medical health officer, said about proof of vaccination policies before they were even implemented in this province: they increase vaccine uptake.

"I absolutely agree that whenever there's a requirement, for example, in university students, the [vaccine] uptake does go up," Shahab told CBC's Sam Maciag, last month.

Premier Scott Moe has said that vaccines are the only way out of this pandemic.

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