The COVID-19 pandemic has been affecting us all for over a year now, but the end is now in sight. COVID-19 vaccines have received Emergency Use Authorization (EUA), and on Jan. 6, Isanti County Public Health nurses began administering COVID-19 vaccines.
“I’m optimistic this will get us back to normalcy locally, nationally, and around the world,” said Cambridge Deputy Fire Chief/Emergency Management Director Will Pennings, who was vaccinated with the first dose on Jan. 6.
“It’s been a challenging year for the fire service in Isanti, Minnesota, and worldwide. I’m excited to start the path towards putting this all behind us, and having a great new year,” added Isanti Fire District Chief Al Jankovich, who also was vaccinated.
Isanti County Public Health is a registered COVID-19 vaccine provider, and received their first shipment of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine on Dec. 23. The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is a two-dose vaccine given 28 days apart.
There will be a multiphase approach to COVID-19 vaccination as determined and directed by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). Multiple entities, including hospitals, pharmacies, and local public health will be responsible for COVID-19 vaccine administration. Currently ICPH is in phase 1a, which includes healthcare personnel and long-term care residents, and it is split into three priority groups. The people in the first priority group within phase 1a that received vaccinations were Emergency Medical Services Personnel and COVID community vaccinators.
As more vaccine becomes available, ICPH will move to the next priority groups, and will continue to share information through social media pages, website, and press releases. Currently there is only specific definitions for those included in Phase 1a. ICPH will share the definitions for the coming phases once they receive them from MDH. Phase 1b will include adults aged 75 and older, and frontline essential workers. Phase 1c will include adults aged 65-74, people aged 16-64 with high-risk medical conditions, and other essential workers.
People eligible for COVID-19 vaccine will be contacted by their employer or the facility where they live (for those living in congregate living facilities) to let them know when vaccine is available to them.