SASKATOON - With Saskatchewan’s vaccine rollout stalled, case numbers rising in Northern Saskatchewan and experts warning of a deadly fourth wave of COVID-19, NDP Leader Ryan Meili called on the Sask. Party government today to take immediate steps to increase vaccine uptake - including at Rider games.
“Scott Moe has decided to pat himself on the back for a job half-done. It’s time to get serious about getting past the Last Mile and reaching true herd immunity in our province,” said Meili. “The Delta variant is more aggressive and resistant and has become the dominant strain in much of the world. It is more important than ever that the vaccine roll-out be targeted, aggressive and effective.”
Meili noted that he has called for Saskatchewan Roughriders games to be COVID-free, something the Sask. Party government has refused to ensure. But it appears that the Saskatchewan Health Authority is not on the same page as the Premier. In the SHA’s Daily Rounds newsletter, it states that the draw for 3,000 tickets for SHA employees for the home opener on Friday, August, 6th was limited to “fully vaccinated SHA staff/healthcare workers”. This was accompanied by a webform application with vaccination status as a required field.
“We believe that Rider games should be COVID-free, and it’s clear that the SHA agrees with us. Not only that, it is clear that fans agree with us, with the quantity of tickets still available for the first Rider game in Regina since 2019,” said Meili. “Unfortunately, the Premier doesn’t agree. In the absence of that certainty for Rider fans, the government must at least ensure that everyone who attends a Rider game has the opportunity to be vaccinated with the introduction of “tailgate vaccination clinics” at Mosaic Stadium.”
Other Last Mile efforts Meili called for include:
- Working with hard-hit communities like Buffalo River Dene Nation to contain outbreaks and increase vaccination rates
- Expanding vaccine eligibility to all those born in 2009, not just those who have turned 12-years-old, as Alberta has done
- Ensuring a strong in-school vaccination effort when classes resume in September
- Reversing the decision made earlier this week to discontinue central appointment booking and instead ramping up outgoing calls to reach unvaccinated individuals for appointments