SASKATOON -- The Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) is encouraging the public to “#FinishTheFight” as COVID-19 restrictions ease - and the number of people receiving vaccines is dropping.

On Wednesday, 6,358 doses were reported as administered, a 53 per cent drop from the same day the previous week. On Tuesday 2,419 vaccines were reported as administered.

“Summer is a great time for coming together with friends and family, and it’s even better when you know that everyone is safe from COVID-19,” the SHA said in a release.

“The SHA encourages all residents to be immunized with both doses as soon as you are eligible, making sure you’ve done your part to protect yourself, your loved ones, and your community.”

According to the SHA, 57,000 booked appointments are available for first and second doses at clinics in the province.

Dalyn Bear, project manager for the Saskatoon Tribal Council (STC) vaccination centre, said things aren’t as busy as they have been, with almost no wait time for most walk-in appointments, but he said it’s a good sign.

“It’s definitely dwindling down, but that’s a good thing, and that’s what we wanted to see. We wanted to make sure we got to the point where numbers are decreasing.”

Bear said they are pushing for 600 doses administered per day, and with just over two weeks left until the clinic is done, he is hoping more people take advantage of the low wait times.

“Our doors are wide open, we will be here Monday to Friday 9:30 until doses are done. We’re here to get it done, it definitely helps travel, and we’re here to make sure summer is a good place to be. We’re back to normalcy, so lets get it done,” Bear said.

Bear said the work being done by all parties involved with the clinic has been crucial to the success they’ve seen with the number of vaccines they have administered.

“It’s about the Indigenous community coming together and delivering to being part of society, the community. So far we’ve administered close 30,000 vaccines,” Bear said.

“We definitely want to work hand in hand, partnered with Saskatoon and surrounding communities. It’s very important and vital for us to do that, and we’re very proud.”

With restrictions lifted in the province, Bear said now is the time to keep up the fight against COVID-19 in order to enjoy the summer to its full potential.

PARAMEDIC HOPES MORE PEOPLE GET VACCINE

Dennis Opekokew was at Sasktel Centre for his daughter’s second dose. He has been fully vaccinated since March as he is a primary care paramedic.

He is hoping those around him take the initiative to get the shot so he can feel safer while enjoying the rest of his summer.

“Myself, I’m vulnerable. I do work in the front line, but I’m also diabetic and have high blood pressure. I am considered one of the vulnerable, and in order to be safe around friends and family I would prefer for them be vaccinated, otherwise the mask comes up still,” Opekokew said.

Opekokew’s daughter, Aurora Ben, said she feels more confident being fully vaccinated, but she is still going to take precautions to keep her father safe at work.

“The mask is going to stay, cause he is a paramedic, and I’d rather not get him and danger,” Ben said.

Ben was in and out of the clinic with almost no wait time, a bonus to Opekokew as he was worried how long the process could take.

“It frees up the rest of the time. We didn’t know if we’d be here an hour or two, or even longer. Being here for 20 minutes is preferable.”