FAIRMONT, Minn. (KEYC) — Medical professionals have 72 hours from the time of arrival to get the coronavirus vaccines into the arms of southern Minnesota residents.
At the Fairmont clinic, they have had a surplus of vaccines and have shifted primarily to second doses.
The surplus of first round vaccines is due to a number of reasons.
One reason is that the majority of people who have shown interest in getting the vaccine in the area have already received their first dose and may have been included in one of the earlier groups eligible to receive the vaccine.
“Now that we have opened up to the public, most of the people have had the opportunity, who have wanted one, to get one, so we are starting to see some decreased interest,” said Chera Sevik, executive director and community health services administrator at Faribault and Martin County Health and Human Services.
The clinic believes the key to getting rid of the surplus of vaccines is by reaching those who might not have been reached for the first round and expanding their reach by raising awareness of the importance of getting vaccinated.
Vaccines have been given out at the Fairmont clinic since December and clinic officials say they will be vaccinating people until at least May.
“Some of the things that we are seeing is that our 65-plus population, we are about 80% of 65 and older population that have been vaccinated,” Sevik said. “And one thing that we have noticed is an extreme decrease in the number of COVID cases, hospitalizations and deaths.”
This clinic has stopped offering the first doses of the vaccine, but is vaccinating people with the second dose as needed. At this clinic, around 2,300 people have been vaccinated in the past few months.
“The vaccine has been a very smooth operation here. We have been able to vaccinate a lot of people in a short number of months,” Sevik said. “It was sort of a whirlwind of getting set up and going, but we will continue to keep this going as long as we need to.”