RED WING — The county health department has wrapped up administering the first round of COVID-19 vaccine to emergency responders, while area health care providers and pharmacies this week continued to work through medical staff and people living or working in long-term care facilities.

There were 1,508 people in Goodhue County who received at least one dose of the two-dose vaccine as of Jan. 12, according to data reported Friday on a new statewide dashboard. That equals about 3% of the 46,340 population. The online tool shows the progress of vaccine distribution across Minnesota, from allocation of doses to shots going into arms.

The county’s vaccination planning team has been working “around the clock” to prepare to administer shots to the next high priority groups amid a rapidly evolving vaccine rollout process, according to Community Health Specialist Jessica Seide.

“We are adjusting as new information is released and are working with community partners and many agencies both locally and statewide,” she said.

Minnesota Department of Health on Thursday issued new guidance urging providers to begin offering shots to broader groups — such as Minnesotans age 65 and up — to increase the vaccination rate.

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“The state is making sure that providers have nothing holding them back from immediately using any and all vaccine they have available,” Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm said in a news release.

Malcom joined health officials in Wisconsin and elsewhere in calling on the federal government to boost vaccine deliveries to states.

“We are ready to get more vaccines out very quickly, but now we desperately need the federal government to step up and provide us with more vaccine,” she said.

As of Thursday, just over 36% of doses were used out of the 626,925 doses promised to the state by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Of those doses:

  • 404,650 were shipped to health care providers, and
  • 106,300 were shipped to pharmacies participating in the CDC Pharmacy Partnership Program for vaccination in long-term care settings.

“Once doses are promised to states, it takes several days before those doses are actually shipped, so it can be a week or more before they actually arrive at their final destination and can be given to people,” according to a state health department news release.

More than 150,000 Minnesotans statewide have received at least their first dose of vaccine.

There were 21 new cases of COVID-19 reported in Goodhue County on Friday, bringing the ongoing total to 3,407 confirmed cases, according to the health department.

Reliable sources

With vaccine information changing daily, Seide with Goodhue County Health and Human Services stressed the importance of seeking credible information.

“Local public health and/or your health care provider will contact you or your employer when you are eligible to be vaccinated to set up a time for your vaccination,” she wrote in an email to the Republican Eagle on Thursday night.

Find COVID-19 vaccine resources at the sources below: