Vaccinations are coming; county is ready
December 18, 2020
Excitement is mounting as approval and distribution of Covid-19 vaccines are here. We know these vaccines are effective at preventing people from getting sick, but we don't have enough data yet to indicate whether someone who gets vaccinated could still spread the disease to others. This means that throughout the duration of the vaccination efforts, please keep masking, staying 6 feet apart, washing your hands, and following other public health recommendations even if you get vaccinated.
Here's what we know about vaccination efforts as of Dec. 14 based on the Minnesota Department of Health:
• Protection from the vaccine is not immediate. It will take one to two weeks after the second dose to provide immunity. While a vaccine will not be required or mandated, it is highly encouraged.
• It is important to remember that there will not be enough vaccine initially for everyone. For this reason, vaccines will be rolled out in a phased approach.
• The first waves will be given to health care personnel dedicated to working directly in Covid-19 units, care, or vaccine administration, EMS, and long-term care staff and residents in skilled nursing facilities.
• More doses will continually be made and distributed, but the process of vaccinating Minnesotans will take time and will be a fluid situation: moving from one phase to the next will be determined by vaccine supply and uptake.
Carlton County Public Health and Human Services submitted its vaccination plan to the state on Dec. 4 and will be working closely with the MDH for rollout as we know more about future shipments and plans for priority populations.
There are three principles that will guide our distribution of the vaccine that align with MDH:
• Immunize for impact and maximizing immediate health benefit, reduce death and serious illness, and minimize the harm created by Covid.
• Equitable distribution and access, making sure no procedural or structural issues impact access to the vaccine among any particular group or population. We want everyone to know they can trust the process, the safety, and the effectiveness of the vaccine.
• Transparency and sharing information as quickly as possible.
We are interested in your vaccination plans. Take a quick, anonymous survey online at covid19-carltoncounty.hub.arcgis.com so we can best plan to meet your needs.
Information about vaccinations will be sent out on a regular basis as plans become final and accessibility becomes available to residents through the phased approach.
Meghann Levitt is the public information officer for Carlton County Public Health and Human Services. Contact her at [email protected]