Ready to go: Southern Minnesota counties just waiting on more vaccines

Ready to go: Southern Minnesota counties just waiting on more vaccines

FAIRMONT, Minn. (KEYC) — In Faribault and Martin counties, COVID-19 vaccinations are a team effort.

In conjunction with Mayo Clinic Health System Fairmont and United Health District, Community Health & Human Services of Faribault and Martin Counties are approaching the finish line of vaccinating priority group 1A.

“We have just decided that it’s much better to coordinate and collaborate together in this effort,” said Chera Sevcik, executive director at Community Health and Human Services in Faribault and Martin Counties.

Peggy Wille, a nurse at Dulcimer Medical Center, waits as another patient receives their dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2021, in Fairmont, Minn. Faribault and Martin Counties are approaching the finish line of vaccinating priority group 1A.
Peggy Wille, a nurse at Dulcimer Medical Center, waits as another patient receives their dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2021, in Fairmont, Minn. Faribault and Martin Counties are approaching the finish line of vaccinating priority group 1A. (Source: Gage Cureton)

Around 1,400 doses of the vaccine have been sent to entities in Faribault and Martin counties so far. Before they can move on to educators and residents over age 65, county officials say they have around 200 people left in priority group 1A, including Faribault and Martin Counties Public Health Sanitarian Tim Langer, who received his first dose on Wednesday.

“Fine, no problems whatsoever,” said Langer.

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Langer says he’s eager for the shots to make their way to the public.

“Eventually, the vaccines will be a light at the end of the tunnel.”

Minnesota is currently receiving about 60,000 doses of vaccine per week. With a population of 5.5 million, that’s just 1% of the supply needed.

“I think a frustration on our end is just not a vaccine to provide to everyone who really wants it,” Sevcik stated.

The challenge in the south central Minnesota counties is the same across the state and around the country. They have the space, the staff and public communication systems needed to vaccinate the masses. Volunteer retired nurses, trained and qualified to inoculate, are on standby waiting for a county that needs the help — all they’re missing is the vaccines.

“We’re ready to go. We’re ready to start vaccinating the community in larger quantities. We just need the vaccine to get here,” Sevcik added.

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