Vaccines still available even if health card expired: SHA

·2 min read

People eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine need not worry if their provincial health cards are expired, according to the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA).

It confirmed to the Leader-Post anyone who shows up at Regina’s drive-thru vaccine clinic at Evraz Place with an expired card will not be turned away.

All of the province’s approximately 1.225 million people eligible for coverage in the province had their cards expire on the last day of 2020. eHealth Saskatchewan, which manages card renewal and private health data, said “renewal packages were mailed out to all eligible” residents in October.

The packages included square, green stickers printed with a new, Dec. 31, 2023 expiry date, to be affixed to current cards.

eHealth said as of Thursday last week, about 3.5 per cent of the “renewal packages remain outstanding at this time. This percentage is comparable to previous renewal years.”

That means approximately 42,800 people are still using expired health cards.

The data management agency said, similar to drive-thru clinics, people trying to book an appointment “will not be denied a COVID-19 vaccination even if their Saskatchewan health card has expired.”

Regina’s drive-thru clinic is closed for now, because all of its AstraZeneca vaccine doses — almost 15,000 — have been used. It’s to reopen when more arrive.

By mid-day Friday, the SHA was booking vaccine appointments online and by phone for anyone aged 62 and older (born in 1959 or earlier).

The SHA did not respond to follow-up questions about what training vaccine drive-thru staff have if a person shows up with an expired card. Nor did the health authority say what procedures are in place for such a scenario.

Apart from vaccines, eHealth reminded residents “in order to be eligible for other important medical services” to renew their cards.

That can be done be calling eHealth at 1-800-667-7551.

eradford@postmedia.com

Evan Radford, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Regina Leader-Post, The Leader-Post