Sask.'s far north lagging in vaccinations among youngest age groups as COVID-19 case numbers grow

·2 min read
Saskatchewan's vaccination rates are among the lowest in Canada.  (CBC/Radio-Canada - image credit)
Saskatchewan's vaccination rates are among the lowest in Canada. (CBC/Radio-Canada - image credit)

Vaccination rates in the Saskatchewan's far north remain among the lowest in the province, even as cases per capita remain well above the province's average.

Data released by the province provides a better understanding of where vaccination is lagging and in what age groups.

The data shows that as of Sept. 1, the far north central and far northwest regions are among the least vaccinated in the province.

That's especially true for those in the age categories 12 to 17, 18 to 29 and 30 to 39.

In both health regions, those age groups have had less than 50 per cent of their population receive a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

They are the only age groups in any region in the province that has less than 50 per cent uptake.

The far north central zone has the lowest percentage of any region of the province.

Among those 12 to 17 in the zone, only 28 per cent have received a first dose. That number shrinks to 13 per cent when looking at second doses.

Even with the addition of high vaccination rates among older age groups in the region, it remains at the bottom of vaccinations in Saskatchewan.

Only 50 per cent of the far north central's 2,649 people have received a first dose. Only 37 per cent have received a second jab.

These figures look even worse when you consider that these regions have the most COVID-19 cases per capita in the province.

Case rates in Saskatchewan by health zone

Cases soar in province's far north

The far north central health region has had the highest rate of COVID-19 cases per capita in the province, at 18,347 cases per 100,000 people.

In fact, all three health regions in the province's far north have had cases at a rate above 10,000 per 100,000.

The case rates in southern health regions are far lower.

As of Sept. 1, Regina had recorded cases at a rate of 4,584 per 100,000.

The region with the lowest case rate is in the province's central west zone, with 3,868 per 100,000.

Broader trends

The issue in Saskatchewan, as exemplified by the province's far north regions, is a lack of vaccinations.

Saskatchewan is among the provinces and territories in Canada with the lowest vaccine uptake.

Eligible population

Among the population eligible to receive a vaccine, 78.8 per cent of people have the first jab of a vaccine and 70.2 per cent have a second dose.

Saskatchewan is about five percentage points below the national average for first doses and seven percentage points below the national average for second doses.

Only Alberta is below Saskatchewan in these rates.

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