After nine long months into the COVID-19 pandemic, Essentia Health administered the first COVID-19 vaccine in Duluth on Thursday afternoon.

Essentia Health says that about 120 of their front-line workers, those directly involved in caring for COVID-positive patients, were vaccinated Thursday against a virus that has claimed the lives of more than 300,000 Americans.

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, which received emergency-use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration on December 10, requires two doses 21 days apart to be fully effective. Essentia Health in Duluth received its initial shipment of 975 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine earlier this week.

“This is truly an historic day,” said Dr. Richard Vetter, chief medical officer for Essentia Health’s West Market. “The availability of this vaccine provides hope and encouragement for all of us to continue our fight against this virus.”

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Essentia says they will adhere to CDC and state health department guidelines for the distribution of vaccines. The first phase includes health care providers and residents of long-term-care facilities. They will be followed by essential workers, such as teachers, police officers and firefighters, then adults with high-risk medical conditions and those over the age of 65.  Per CDC and state health department guidelines, there are no waitlists currently available for the vaccine.

The timeline for other populations will be determined by the roll-out of additional vaccines and quantities. You can click on the link below to get complete information.

Courtesy of Essentia Health
Courtesy of Essentia Health

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