On February 9, the SHA and Provincial Government released more details about their COVID-19 vaccine delivery plan. As part of Phase 1, healthcare workers (HCWs), who work in the following areas, will continue to be prioritized:
- Congregate living settings such as long-term care and personal care homes;
- Adult ICU;
- Emergency departments;
- Respiratory therapy;
- COVID-19 designated wards;
- Code blue and trauma teams;
- COVID-19 assessment and testing centres;
- EMS, road, and air transport teams; and
- All healthcare workers over 70 years of age.
After a significant amount of pressure from the medical community and frontline healthcare professionals such as yourself, on February 16 the Government announced they have amended priority sequencing to add an estimated 11,500 people to the Phase 1 priority population sequencing.
Additional HCWs included in priority sequencing for Phase 1 include:
- Individuals directly involved in delivering COVID-19 immunizations in Phase 2 including physicians (up to 2,600), pharmacists (up to 1,200), and other SHA health care providers involved in delivering COVID-19 immunizations;
- Anesthesia/operating rooms;
- All other critical care areas;
- Vaccination teams;
- Radiology technicians;
- Phlebotomy/lab workers handling COVID-19 specimens; and
- Home care (direct care providers).
This is a positive step in the right direction and a clear sign your phone calls and emails voicing concerns over the priority sequencing for vaccinating HCWs are being heard and acted upon with the prioritization of HCWs expanded in a number of areas.
While the improvements to Phase 1 of the Vaccine Rollout Plan announced on February 16 are recognized and appreciated, they do not address our concerns regarding the removal of priority vaccinations for healthcare workers under Phase 2 of the Plan. These concerns are still valid as no changes were announced to Phase 2 which continues to exclude a significant number of frontline healthcare workers - including SUN members - from the priority sequencing of vaccination.
SUN continues to advocate that in order to sustain and protect our healthcare system, to ensure you are protected, and to ensure your patients are protected - the remaining healthcare workers need to be prioritized under Phase 2, in alignment with NACI standards.
Your voices, frustrations, and concerns are being heard and making a difference. We need to continue using our voices to create positive change and ensure all healthcare workers are vaccinated before the general public.
As Tracy Zambory, SUN President, said in her February 11 President's Message, "Now is the time we need to unite and use our collective voices to stand up and protect our patients ourselves, and our communities...SUN will continue to be your rock – you can always count on us. We will stand up for you at every turn because we know that Saskatchewan depends on you and your safety is integral to our success."
What Members Can Do
To express your concerns regarding the prioritization of HCWs in the Vaccine Rollout Plan, you can:
- Activate APPEAL process
- Contact Blake McMullen, to learn more about the appeal process in place.
- To appeal the new priority sequencing for the COVID-19 vaccine, please contact Blake McMullen with the SHA at Blake.McMullen@saskhealthauthority.ca
- SHARE YOUR CONCERNS WITH SHA
- Contact Scott Livingstone, SHA CEO at email@example.com
- PHONE YOUR MLA to stress your concerns and urge the Government to follow national standards and revise the roll-out vaccine plan to immunize HCWs before the general public.
- CONTACT PREMIER MOE & HEALTH MINISTER PAUL MERRIMAN to have your voice heard.
In Case You Missed It
- Government Announcement - Additional HCWs included in Phase 1 (February 16)
- President's Message: HCWs Removed As A Priority In Sask.’s Phase 2 Vaccine Rollout (February 11)
- February 10, 2021 SHA Daily Rounds (check your emails)
- February 9, 2021 Vaccine Update (HCWs removed from Phase 2)
- January 14 Vaccine Delivery Update (HCWs included in Phase 2)
- Vaccine Sequencing Plan for Healthcare Workers (January 14)