Saskatchewan receiving first Moderna COVID-19 vaccine shipment before the end of the year

The first shipment of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine will arrive in Saskatchewan next week.

The province said it expects to receive 4,900 doses of the vaccine the week of Dec. 28.

Read more: Canada approves Moderna coronavirus vaccine, 1st doses to arrive in ‘coming days’

The news comes hours after Health Canada gave approval to the vaccine.

“The approval of the Moderna vaccine means more high-risk Saskatchewan residents will be able to be immunized against COVID-19,” Health Minister Paul Merriman said Wednesday in a statement.

“This vaccine allows us to continue with our Phase 1 plans to target residents where they are living and working.”

Click to play video 'Coronavirus: Heath Canada official says Moderna vaccine believed to be effective against new U.K. variant' Coronavirus: Heath Canada official says Moderna vaccine believed to be effective against new U.K. variant

Coronavirus: Heath Canada official says Moderna vaccine believed to be effective against new U.K. variant

Health officials said the Moderna vaccine does not need to be stored at ultra-cold temperatures and will allow public health to distribute it to more locations in the province as supplies become available.

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Moderna vaccinations will be targeted to residents and staff in long-term and personal care homes, individuals 80 years and older, anyone aged 50 and older in northern and remote communities and front-line health-care workers.

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Those getting the vaccine are required to get two doses, 28 days apart.

Read more: Saskatoon lab receives Health Canada authorization for COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial

The province said 1,597 doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine have been given as of Tuesday to health-care workers in Regina and Saskatoon.

Widespread immunization to the general public is tentatively scheduled to start in April 2021.

Health officials said despite people starting to get the vaccine, all residents need to continue to abide by public health orders, including wearing masks in public and adhering to gathering size limitations.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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