First COVID-19 Vaccine Shipment Arrives in Minnesota
Minnesota received its first shipment of COVID-19 vaccines at four sites across the state today. Two of the four sites included Sanford Bemidji Medical Center and Cass Lake Indian Health Services.
Through the rest of the week, Minnesota is expected to receive a total of 46,800 units of vaccines. Vaccines will be distributed to smaller hospitals or clinics and health care providers will then administer the vaccines to Minnesotans.
The first group to be vaccinated in phase 1 will include health care workers and long-term care residents.
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. “These first vaccine deliveries are one small but very important step in the right direction. In the meantime, we must be patient and absolutely must continue to take those measures that keep all Minnesotans safe: wear a mask when in public, maintain social distancing, get tested, and properly isolate and quarantine when needed.”
The 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.
However, Cass Lake Indian Health Service started administering their shipment of COVID-19 vaccines today. Five health care workers and five long-term care adults were the 10 people who took the first round of the vaccination. According to Bill Fisher, Bemidji Area Indian Health Service Chief Contractor, the Indian Health Service has been training its employees for weeks and was prepared to start administrating the vaccines as soon as possible.
Cass Lake has about 100 COVID-19 vaccines available with plans to administer another round of vaccines this Friday.