by Heidi L. Everett
The first COVID-19 vaccine shipments arrived in Minnesota today at four sites across the state: Minneapolis Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Sanford Bemidji Medical Center, Olmsted Medical Center, and Cass Lake Indian Health Services. These shipments will be further distributed to 25 “hub” facilities and then 118 “spoke” facilities throughout Minnesota.
“This is an exciting day for Minnesota,” said Governor Tim Walz. “The first vaccines are here. They are safe, and they will be ready to go soon. The sun is coming up, Minnesota”
Throughout the week, Minnesota is expected to receive a total of 46,800 units of vaccine across the statewide regional vaccine distribution hubs. From there, the vaccine will be distributed to smaller hospitals or clinics, and providers will then administer the vaccine to Minnesotans, starting by protecting life and health of those most susceptible to serious complications and those who care for them.
“It will be several months before the average Minnesotan will be able to be vaccinated, but we will get there,” said Minnesota Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm.
Department of Health staff will train providers on protocols and procedures for administering the vaccine this week, with most vaccinations expected to begin next week, December 21.
The first group to be vaccinated in phase 1 will include health care workers and long-term care residents. The priority groups for phase 1b and 1c have yet to be determined but may include essential workers and older adults.
To stay current on the Minnesota plan to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine, visit: https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/vaccine.html