Healthcare organizations in Olmsted County team-up for vaccine distribution | KAALTV.com

Healthcare organizations in Olmsted County team-up for vaccine distribution

Rachel Mills
Created: February 04, 2021 07:22 PM

(ABC 6 News) - Olmsted County Public Health, Mayo Clinic, and Olmsted Medical Center announced Thursday they are teaming up to help unify the many vaccine distribution programs in Olmsted County. 

Between the lottery system, vaccines for healthcare workers and the pharmacy distribution for those 65 and older, it's hard to know what to do or where to go to get your shot. 

The county's goal now is to make it more clear.

"We do understand though, it's confusing for the public right now on who's eligible for shots, where and how to get a COVID vaccine right now. For us working on this every day, it's very complicated and I can only imagine for the public trying to figure out who to call or where to go," Graham Briggs, director of Olmsted County Public Health, said. 

This team-up effort is focusing on wrapping up tear 1A priority vaccinations, which includes healthcare professionals, nursing home residents, and those testing for covid or administering vaccines. 

Despite information earlier this week, the county also made it clear that you cannot request a vaccine from a provider right now. They said, if you are eligible, you will be contacted by your provider or a provider in your area to receive your vaccine. Nobody is currently accepting walk-ins. 

"That's part of how challenging this is. At the state level, they might say talk to your provider. So, we're actively seeking out those people that are eligible and then working with them to get them scheduled," Briggs said. 

Representatives from all three organizations also stressed the importance of continuing to practice COVID safety protocols like masking and social distancing even after being vaccinated. 

"Yes. You still need to do that because while the vaccine can protect you from severe disease, but we don't know if, yet, it protects you from picking up the virus and transmitting it to somebody else," Dr. Abinsh Virk, co-lead for COVID vaccine allocation and distribution for the Mayo Clinic, said. 

Clearing up the confusion is the key right now.  If you live in Olmsted County, your healthcare provider will contact you about your vaccine if you are eligible.


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