Published on January 19, 2021

Essentia Health begins vaccinating the public

Jean Cossette receives her first vaccination at Essentia Health given by Connie Ostoj, LPN.

Essentia Health gave its first vaccinations to priority group 1B which includes patients age 75 or older who are North Dakota residents or those with health care established in North Dakota on Tuesday, January 19. Among the first to receive a vaccination was Jean Cossette, 88, of Fargo.

“I’m a little nervous, but I’m excited to get COVID all over with,” shares Jean as she waited for her first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. “I want to get back to more normal life and playing cards.”

Through exhaustive clinical trials that featured tens of thousands of patients, both vaccines currently available to Essentia Health – ones from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna – were found to have effectiveness rates of about 95%. They have proven to be safe, as well. Minimal side effects have included headaches, fatigue and injection-site pain.

Essentia Health will continue to vaccinate those in group 1B as vaccine is available. It is expected to take multiple weeks to vaccinate all of the people within this group. Vaccine allocation is subject to change and appointments may need to be re-scheduled due to vaccine availability.

We are notifying patients through MyChart messages and recorded phone messages to let them know when they are invited to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Phone messages will go to the patients’ preferred phone number in their medical record.

Essentia Health patients are asked 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 using MyChart. Using MyChart to schedule your appointment is recommended due to anticipated lengthy wait times by phone. Appointments can be made by calling 701-364-7946.

To sign up for MyChart, visit and click on the MyChart button in the upper right-hand corner and 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 or 28 days apart depending on the manufacturer.

Additional information regarding the COVID-19 vaccine can be found on by visiting and clicking on the vaccine distribution link at the top of the page.

Essentia Health follows guidance set by North Dakota’s health department to ensure that those who are most at risk are among the first to receive the vaccine.

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

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