Sask. pharmacists could start administering COVID-19 vaccines as early as April 19: health minister

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Saskatchewan pharmacists may be administering vaccine doses as soon as April 19, according to the provincial health minister.  (John Woods/The Canadian Press - image credit)
Saskatchewan pharmacists may be administering vaccine doses as soon as April 19, according to the provincial health minister. (John Woods/The Canadian Press - image credit)

Saskatchewan's Health Minister says pharmacists in the province could be administering vaccines as soon as April 19, depending on supply.

"We were allocating a specific amount and we'll increase that week over week until we can get the pharmacists up to full speed," Paul Merriman told reporters on Saturday.

Currently, people 55 and older in Saskatchewan can book an appointment online for a vaccine, or go to a drive-thru or walk-in clinic. That excludes Regina's drive-thru vaccination site, which is open only to people ages 52 to 54, and the Northern Saskatchewan Administration District, where those 50 and older can book an appointment.

Merriman said the pharmacists will be administering the Moderna vaccine. However, the supply of that vaccine isn't stable right now.

Merriman said due to delays in shipments outside the Saskatchewan Health Authority's control, about 30,000 appointments have had to be rebooked in the past three weeks.

He said engaging pharmacists to deliver shots will help move more vaccines out.

"We've been working with the Pharmacy Association [of Saskatchewan] for weeks," Merriman said. "I've been told they're doing their training right now on the vaccine process, administering the data into that and how it's going to go."