Published on December 16, 2020

Essentia Health administers first COVID-19 vaccine

Dr. Karol Kremens receives first COVID-19 vaccine given at Essentia Health

Essentia Health-Fargo received its initial shipment of 775 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine today. Shortly thereafter, the first front line health care workers began receiving the vaccine.

Vaccinations will be given in a tiered approach, beginning with those health care workers who provide direct patient care for COVID patients.

Dr. Karol Kremens, an intensivist, was the first person to be vaccinated at Essentia Health. The first nurse to be vaccinated was acute care RN, Kim Tenderholt.

Nurse Kim tenderholt receives COVID-19 vaccine from another nurse

“I think it’s the right thing to do for a number of reasons; the science shows it’s safe, we owe it to our coworkers, our patients, to our families and to ourselves,” shares Dr. Kremens. “We can help prevent the spread to those who are most vulnerable.”

Vaccinations will continue to be administered through the week for health care workers. In addition to providers and nurses, phlebotomists, respiratory therapists and patient sitters are included in the initial allocation of the vaccine. The vaccine requires a second shot in 21 days.

Essentia Health plans to follow CDC and state health department guidelines for COVID-19 vaccine distribution, including which groups of people are vaccinated next. Waitlists are not part of either CDC or state health department guidelines at this time. Essentia Health plans to accept all vaccine supply allocated by state health departments to provide to our patients.

It is important to note that until a large percentage of the population is vaccinated, wearing a mask, maintaining social distance and frequent hand washing continue to be necessary.

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