The province said 48 people in the Far North West and Far North Central regions have been administered the first dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccination.

As well more doses are committed to Far North East communities.

Of the 4900 doses received on Dec. 28, 1450 are headed to that region.

Long-term care residents and staff, priority health care workers and residents over the age of 80 are first in line.

The province will not be holding back administering the doses as it has received assurances from the federal government on the consistent delivery of vaccines.

“The Far North East is going to get their Moderna allocation. It’s left Regina, it is on its way up there,” said Health Minister Paul Merriman Wednesday.

Merriman explained that he is expecting Monday an additional 5300 Moderna doses to be backfilled in the Far North as required.

There are challenges in getting the vaccine to northern communities, which Merriman said are being worked out.

“We have to remember we’re getting these products from here in Regina that have to go up to Fond du Lac, that have to go up to Stony Rapids that are going into the far northern reaches of our province, that don’t have roads,” said Merriman.

The vaccines are proving to be very temperamental in that their shelf life can get greatly reduced.

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Saqib Shahab said the Pfizer vaccine once defrosted only lasts five days in a fridge, while Moderna has a 30-day fridge life.

The province said it is determining the delivery of the Moderna vaccine to smaller cities to serve a regional hub.

The administration of the 3900 Pfizer doses in Prince Albert are anticipated to begin soon as the vaccinations just arrived in that city today.