'They’re saving people’s lives': 150 Saskatoon police officers get their COVID-19 vaccine
SASKATOON -- Members of the Saskatoon Police Service rolled up their sleeves Wednesday morning for their COVID-19 vaccine.
Chief Troy Cooper was among the 150 frontline members to receive their shot at a clinic run by the Saskatoon Tribal Council (STC) at SaskTel Centre.
“I'm just happy where we're at, where officers have needles in arms and they can go out with a little more protection tomorrow than they did today,” Cooper said.
“Our officers have to go to areas that are uncontrolled. There are things you can’t prepare them for, you can’t protect them with PPE and policy all the time. This vaccination is the final level of protection.”
The STC gets about 200 doses per day, but requested extra shots from the Saskatchewan Health Authority to be dedicated for officers.
“They need to be a priority. They’re saving people’s lives. They’re preventing crime, often going into people’s homes. At the end of the day, we’re doing a good job by doing the right thing,” STC Chief Mark Arcand said.
On Tuesday, the province expanded vaccine eligibility to include police officers, firefighters, correctional staff and teachers.
Cooper has been vocal about prioritizing front-line officers in the vaccination plan. He previously said he wouldn’t get his shot based on age while officers are “at risk.”
For Cst. Tejpal Virk, getting the shot means he can feel safe on the job.
"Having the vaccine today, I think it's something that's going to help me do my job that much better, being able to respond quickly and not have to wait just because we can't enter a house or help a person that's tested positive for COVID."
The STC expects to vaccinate another 150 officers on Thursday.