Sanford Health in Bemidji Plans to Begin COVID-19 Immunizations
Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine has arrived in northern Minnesota, and starting tomorrow it will be administered to the 15,000 Sanford Health frontline health care staff. Sanford Health received 970 vaccine doses on Monday, and approximately 700 of those will go to Sanford Bemidji and Bagley frontline staff. The rest will be distributed to 11 smaller medical centers and clinics in neighboring counties.
Despite the first shipments arriving, it will still be a while before the COVID-19 vaccine is available to the public. Current estimates say it should be widely available sometime early next year.
Until that time, they will be distributed using a tiered model that prioritizes high-risk individuals. The Minnesota Department of Health owns the vaccine supply, which means it will be up to them to dictate who will have access to the vaccine and when.
Once administered, it will take two doses, and the Pfizer vaccine requires 21 days in between the first and second dose. After both doses, it will still be important to continue to wear masks and practice social distancing. It will also be important that a large portion of the population is vaccinated to achieve herd immunity.