Published on January 26, 2021

Essentia Health begins vaccinating 65-plus age group

John Collins receives his first COVID vaccination at Essentia Health.

Following the most recent guidance from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), Essentia Health on Monday started vaccinating members of the public in the 65-plus age group at our Brainerd Clinic.

Last week, MDH gave health care providers the flexibility to begin vaccinating anyone over the age of 65 if vaccine remained from the Phase 1A allocation.

Among the first to receive a vaccination on Monday was John Collins. His shot was administered by Carrin Delong, a registered nurse at Essentia.

Essentia Health will continue to vaccinate those aged 65 and older as supply allows. We are currently using a randomized selection process for our patients who are in the 65-and-older category to determine the order in which patients are vaccinated.

Notification to those who are invited to receive a COVID-19 vaccine will occur as appointments are available. As additional allocations are received, we’ll continue to work through the list of eligible patients. Vaccine allocation is subject to change and appointments may need to be re-scheduled due to vaccine availability.

We are notifying patients primarily through MyChart messages to let them know when they are invited to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Essentia Health patients are encouraged to sign up for MyChart, which will be the primary method of notification. Once you receive your notice via MyChart, you’ll be able to easily schedule your vaccination.

To sign up for MyChart, visit EssentiaHealth.org and click on the MyChart button in the upper right-hand corner; then click “sign up.” There is also a MyChart app for smart devices.

Please note that two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine are recommended, 21 (Pfizer) or 28 days (Moderna) apart depending on the manufacturer.

Additional information regarding the COVID-19 vaccine can be found by visiting EssentiaHealth.org and clicking on the vaccine distribution link at the top of the page. If you have questions or concerns about the vaccine, we urge you to contact your primary care provider. Similarly, if you have a history of severe allergic reactions to vaccines or medications, please contact your primary care provider.

Also, experts from Essentia Health participated in a vaccine-focused webinar on Friday, Jan. 22. Watch the hour-long program here.

To coordinate interviews, photos, and/or video, contact the media relations team.

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