PARK RAPIDS, MN (December 16, 2020) – CHI St. Joseph’s Health hospital and CHI St. Joseph’s Health Community Health/Hubbard County Public Health, are planning for the first round of COVID-19 vaccination for health care workers starting the week of December 21, 2020.
Minnesota is using a “hub and spoke” model for vaccine distributions. 25 locations that have sufficient cold storage have been selected around the state. These sites will then break down the shipments into smaller amounts needed for sites throughout the state. Sanford Health in Bemidji has been identified as hub for the northwest region of Minnesota, which includes Hubbard County.
Per guidance from the CDC and the Minnesota Department of Health, the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine will be given to people working in hospitals and health care settings who could contract the virus at work, and residents of long-term care facilities. The first vaccine allocation for Hubbard County will be specifically allocated for hospitals, with more doses expected shortly after for long term care residents and EMS staff. Per Community Health Director Marlee Morrison, “vaccine is being distributed with guidance on who will receive the initial doses. As the Hubbard County public health agent we are coordinating with the hospital, our regional partners, and the state to ensure that the vaccine is distributed appropriately. “
The first vaccine received will be a limited supply from Pfizer, which received FDA Emergency Use Authorization on December 12, 2020. Hospital and Community Health staff is currently receiving training on vaccine administration. The Pfizer vaccine requires ultra-cold storage, with specific instructions about storage and handling to maintain the integrity of the vaccine. CHI St. Joseph’s Health is enrolled as a vaccine provider. Recipients will require two doses of the Pfizer vaccine, 21 days apart. There is no cost to receive the vaccine, but providers may charge an administration fee that is reimbursable through insurance.
Deb Haagenson, Vice President of Patient Care at CHI St. Joseph’s Health says “CHI St. Joseph’s Health stands ready to receive the vaccine and begin vaccinating our health care workforce. As we begin this process, it is important that we continue to follow MDH and CDC guidelines for the pandemic – wash your hands regularly, wear face coverings in public, stay home when you are sick, and maintain social distance. These measures, in combination with the vaccine, will help our community recover from the pandemic.”