It's light at the end of the tunnel. The St. Louis County Public Health department has begun administering the COVID-19 vaccine to individuals. The county received their first shipment of the Moderna vaccine on December 23 and since that time they have vaccinated approximately 150 people over the course of vaccination clinics held over two days. St. Louis County Public Health held a clinic in Virginia on December 24, with additional site-vaccinations occurring on December 28 in Hermantown, Virginia, and Ely. An additional clinic is scheduled for Hibbing on January 4. Additional site-locations will be offered as arrangements can be made.

St. Louis County's initial shipment of the Moderna vaccine was 500 doses.  An additional 300 doses were expected to arrive this week.  Vaccine shipments are anticipated to arrive on a regular, on-going basis in the future.

To determine who gets the vaccine, St. Louis County Public Health is following the priority target groups identified by federal and state public health system; the vaccines are offered first to paramedics, advanced emergency medical technicians, emergency medical technicians and emergency medical responders. In total, the county estimates that approximately 700 people work in these categories in St. Louis County.  The Public Health department is working directly with EMS organizations to identify and contact the individuals who are eligible to receive the vaccine during this first, initial phase.

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Individuals who received the Moderna vaccine from St. Louis County Public Health will need to come back for their second dose in about a month.  Each of the individuals vaccinated have been given a reminder card to help them schedule that second dose.  The Public Health department is one of three systems in the county right now that is administering vaccinations; hospitals and pharmacies are the other two.

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