Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the virus has evolved and changed many times, therefore the vaccines to protect against it have as well.   

The new bivalent booster provides broader protection against the viruses many strains, and is available now for folks in the area at local pharmacies and physician offices.  

Dr. David Torr is the division lead for the Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine and Medical Health Officer for the southwest.  

“The virus keeps changing; it's one of its survival tactics,” Torr said. “We had a vaccine very early on and then we had a series to go through and boost us, and now we have the bivalent booster." 

Dr. Torr added that he strongly encourages everyone to get the new booster, especially if it has been three months or longer since their last boost. 

Saskatchewan’s numbers of positive cases are increasing, with a predominant wave of the newest variant of COVID-19, the BA.5.  

“The hand hygiene, distancing, masking, all those are useful, but in addition to that take the new vaccine,” Torr said. “Get your booster—that's the real key message.”  

Viruses are more active during the winter, so as the seasons change and the weather cools down, it’s the perfect time to vaccinate. 

Anyone looking to book their bivalent booster can call Public Health, visit the Health Authority website, or contact their family doctor’s office to arrange an appointment. 

“We want people to be as best protected as possible,” Torr said. “Whether it's a flu shot combination with the COVID vaccine or just whichever one you haven't had yet.”