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Local vaccines still rolling out

FAIRMONT — As the country seemingly begins to see progress in combating COVID-19, local efforts are slowly but surely underway. Community Health sanitarian Tim Langer of Community Health and Human Services of Faribault and Martin Counties recently shared that patience is a virtue when it comes to receiving the vaccine.

Langer has also noted that Human Services would periodically provide updates on local efforts. In keeping with that effort, Langer shared some information from Human Services.

As of Jan. 30, 2021, 1,307 individuals in Martin County have received at least their first vaccination for COVID-19. 6.5 percent of the population has received at least one dose. 903 individuals in Faribault County have received at least their first vaccination for COVID-19. 6.5 percent of the population has received at least one dose. January 26, one day ahead of schedule. All 100 doses were distributed to individuals identified in priority group 1A within 72 hours as directed by the Minnesota Department of Health. All doses were in arms by 4 p.m. on January 29.

Langer also shared that Mayo Health System Fairmont will receive 36 doses of Pfizer vaccine this week to provide to dialysis patients. United Hospital District is not scheduled to receive any doses of vaccine this week. Dulcimer Medical Center will be receiving 300 doses of vaccine this week to provide to patients age 65 and older.

Efforts continue to be underway in Faribault and Martin Counties to provide COVID-19 vaccinations. There continues to be a very limited supply of COVID-19 vaccine in Minnesota.

Currently, Minnesota is receiving 60,000 doses of vaccine per week. With our population of 5.6 million, that is just one percent of the supply needed.

As of January 22, 2021, 649 vaccinations had been provided to Faribault County residents and 822 vaccinations to Martin County residents.

The total population of individuals who would be eligible by age for the vaccine in Faribault and Martin Counties is approximately 25,000. This means just 5 percent of our counties have received the vaccine as of today. We have a long way to go.

Mayo Clinic Health System Fairmont, United Hospital District and Community Health & Human Services of Faribault & Martin Counties are partnering together in this effort with support from county emergency management and the South Central Health Care Coalition.

Langer also shared that the vaccine distribution system in Minnesota is complex and involves multiple vaccination providers, including health care providers/health systems, local public health agencies, pharmacies and community vaccinator programs. Mayo Health System, Fairmont and United Hospital District received allocations of the Pfizer vaccine to vaccinate staff and individuals in priority group 1A.

Currently, Mayo Health System Fairmont has vaccinated 328 individuals, and United Hospital District has vaccinated 151 individuals.

Human Services of Faribault & Martin Counties received the Moderna vaccine and has vaccinated 300 individuals in priority group 1A. Outside vaccinators — through the Federal Pharmacy Partnership Program — are responsible for vaccinations happening in long-term care settings.

As a reminder, the following categories of people are currently eligible to receive the vaccine in Faribault & Martin Counties:

— Individuals who work or live in Faribault & Martin Counties

— The current directive is to provide the vaccine to all individuals in the Priority 1A group before moving on to providing the vaccine to those over age 65 and those working in the education or childcare sector.

— Priority Group 1A includes: hospital staff, skilled nursing facilities (staff and residents), certified EMS/EMT workers, COVID testers, COVID vaccinators, assisted living facilities (staff and residents), urgent care settings/clinics, dialysis centers, dental offices, home health care (staff), group homes (staff & residents), pharmacists, correctional health care providers, school nurses, funeral home staff, specialty health care providers including optometry, audiology and chiropractic care and staff with direct client care (with no ability to work remotely) working in public health, mental and behavioral health settings.

— As of January 31, 2021, it is anticipated there will be approximately 200 individuals left to vaccinate in Priority Group 1A.

— The vaccine is only available by appointment.

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