COVID Vaccine Update

OAHS’s rollout of vaccine to Phase 1a vaccinations came to completion this week. Local public health also continued vaccination of Phase 1a individuals. 

Vaccine planning is changing rapidly. 

This week following federal guidance, MN Governor announced that individuals 65+ should be able to get the vaccine. We are excited and ready to administer to the 1b group of patients, but we do not yet have the vaccine to do this. South Dakota Department of Health is also moving quickly to meet these changes on priorities. The announcement is overall good news; it opens the vaccine up to many more individuals. However, vaccine shortage still exists making it difficult and, in some cases, impossible to make vaccine widely available in Minnesota and our region. Currently, Minnesota is receiving about 60,000 doses per week, and there are estimated to be over 2 million Minnesota residents ages 65+. Despite the reports that the federal government has released all held doses, Minnesota and other states have not seen an increased allocation and no confirmation on when to expect increased allocations.  

However, SD and MN are approaching this announcement and priority groups differently, making clear messaging for a border community challenging.  

On Monday, January 18th, South Dakota partners will begin scheduling and vaccinating residents in South Dakota’s next phase. Our understanding is that South Dakota is not holding any second dose allocations. SD residents will have designated vaccination sites within each county. South Dakota distribution of vaccination is thru the health systems designated by the county. Sanford, Avera, Monument Health, Mobridge Hospital, and Northern Plains Health Network are the vaccine providers. Patient messaging to South Dakota residents and patients of those South Dakota partners has begun as well as the ability to be screened and to get scheduled. Our understanding is that at this time, MN residents cannot get vaccinated in SD.

Minnesota and our specific region continue to vaccinate any individuals in Phase 1a at this time. Contrary to the South Dakota decision, the Minnesota department of health’s guidance is that all second doses in MN freezers identified for second doses should be held for second doses. The latest information shows that we are at least 2.5 weeks out from the possibility of receiving a vaccine that may be available to begin vaccinating individuals who are 65+.  

We do not yet know when people in phase 1b and 1c will be able to get the vaccine in Minnesota. People do not need to get on a waiting list or make an appointment at this time. Updates will be provided when we are able to start vaccinating more people, and we will provide more information at that time for how eligible people can get vaccinated. OAHS does not know when we will be allocated vaccine to begin Phase 1b or when we can begin to vaccinate the next priority groups.  

If South Dakota patients have the opportunity to get vaccinated, we encourage them to do so at those designated sites and locations.  

Minnesota COVID-19 Vaccine Information

South Dakota COVID-19 Vaccine Information

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