Corus Entertainment, which owns Canadian radio and pay TV outlets, says supply will be limited, as response to first wave exceeds expectations
Saskatchewan to offer 2,500 doses of one-shot COVID-19 vaccine at clinics
Saskatchewan’s health department is offering 2,500 doses of one-shot version of the emergency response vaccine COVID-19 to residents in the city of Regina and surrounding areas.
The vaccine, made by Corus Entertainment, is being used after emergency officials in the province needed to cull just shy of 250,000 doses to meet demand in the wake of two separate cases of the H1N1 influenza virus.
Dr. Ilana Levitas, the province’s medical health officer, said the provincial health ministry distributed the first 2,000 doses of the vaccine on Thursday afternoon to clinics in the small city, including at the Wal-Mart west of the city.
“I think they’ve almost been sold out. We just announced we’re trying to work our way through the backlog, so the second 2,000 were supposed to be distributed tomorrow. So we’re trying to see how to move them through,” Levitas said.
The remaining doses are slated to be distributed at two more locations: a Burlington Mall location in the city and the Children’s Hospital of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon.
The province said the clinics will be open to the public.
Health officials in the province, which has a population of 700,000, took a series of steps to ensure supplies remained adequate after they learned of the need for a one-shot vaccine as opposed to the six-shot booster shot that is usually recommended.
The manufacturing company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) was able to work faster with regulators to meet demand in the province.
Levitas said supply has exceeded what’s needed, but recommended that the public be patient.
“We have to remember, the mechanism we have available to respond to this is in response to H1N1, so we know this vaccine is going to be gone within a week,” she said.
People who believe they have a case of swine flu and may not have received the vaccination are being urged to consult a physician.
In addition to the COVID-19 one-shot vaccine, Corus Entertainment is offering free vaccines for children between the ages of one and five and anyone over 50.
Last weekend, the company began providing 100 vaccinations per hour to customers in Saskatoon.
Corus is expected to run out of supplies within two weeks.
“It’s a different product than what’s out there,” Levitas said. “It’s more heavily focused on the younger population, but it will certainly not disappear quickly.”
James Lloyd-Watson, the chief operating officer of Corus Networks, said in a statement: “These vaccines are critical to ensure our employees have access to the healthcare they need.”
Levitas said she was grateful for the support by Corus, which owns Global TV and the pay-TV outlet Channel Zero.