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Sask. pharmacies to administer vaccines by mid-April: health minister

Saskatchewan Health Minister Paul Merriman told reporters on Saturday COVID-19 vaccines should start being administered in pharmacies by April 19, if vaccine supply allows.

Merriman said pharmacists are currently undergoing training to administer the vaccines and enter data into the system.

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He said the rollout date in pharmacies depends on vaccine shipments. He said 19,000 Moderna doses are intended to be allocated to the pharmacies but that shipment has been delayed.

Pharmacies will start vaccinating with that specific amount.

“We’ll continue to increase that week-over-week until we can get the pharmacists up to full speed,” Merriman said Saturday.

Click to play video: ‘They’re taking over’: Saskatchewan doctors flag threat of COVID-19 variants

In addition to the news, Saskatchewan added another 236 COVID-19 cases on Saturday. There were no new COVID-19 related deaths reported.

There are 91 new cases in Regina and 35 in Saskatoon.

Saskatchewan government officials reported as of Friday that 3,212 variants of concern have been identified by screening. The province also reported 485 new lineage results on Saturday. Officials said of the 1,435 variants of concern with lineages identified by whole genome sequencing in Saskatchewan, 1,426 are B.1.1.7 (U.K.) and nine are B.1.351 (SA).

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In hospital, there are 192 COVID-19 positive patients receiving care including 46 people in ICU.

Saskatchewan broke a record on Friday after 12,615 doses of COVID-19 vaccines were administered, the highest since the start of the province’s vaccine rollout. Saskatoon administered 2,321 of the doses, the south east reported 1,644, the central east reported 1,588 and health-care workers in Regina administered 1,565 COVID-19 vaccine doses on Friday.

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