In some other provinces, eye doctors have already qualified for vaccinations as part of the earlier phases of the rollout. In Saskatchewan, other forms of physicians are starting to learn more about when they’ll be getting theirs. Optometrists in the Estevan area, however, are still waiting for more information about their own vaccine eligibility.
“We haven’t been given that information yet,” said Dr. Sarah Sliva of South East Eyecare. “Our professional association is working really hard at advocating on our behalf so that we can get vaccinated. I know a lot of us are eagerly looking forward to getting more information on when that might be.”
At the moment, however, Dr. Sliva said she hadn’t heard any concrete details about when optometrists in Saskatchewan might be looking at their first doses. They are among many organizations that have lobbied the province for greater priority, and some of those other organizations have recently seen some movement on that front.
“They are starting to get more priority for first responders, police officers, public health inspectors and things like that,” she said. “It’s encouraging that a lot of these programs are moving forward and hopefully brightening that light at the end of the tunnel for when things can hopefully return to the normal that we used to know.”
In the meantime, the province is encouraging extra caution in the Estevan area as cases in the South East have been on a steady rise for the last month or so. For Dr. Sliva and her team, however, not much is having to change.
“We’ve always treated the COVID regulations with extreme seriousness,” she said. “We haven’t really had to change anything recently because we were already operating as though the case numbers were high. We want to take kind of an offensive as opposed to a defensive stand, be proactive instead of reactive.”
Dr. Sliva also said that some people may be tempted to put off going to any kind of doctors office at the moment because of COVID-19, but she pointed out that routine eye exams and other procedures were still necessary and still available, so she encouraged people to come down for those.