April 16, 2021

Stevens County Times

Your spot for community news in Stevens County, Minnesota

Help is here, COVID-19 vaccine has arrived

Dr. Huikko of Stevens Community Medical Center gets his first dose of COVID-19 vaccine during the initial phase of vaccine roll out last week. Submitted photo

Taken from the Centers for Disease Control website

Because the supply of COVID-19 vaccine in the United States is expected to be limited at first, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) is providing recommendations to federal, state, and local governments about who should be vaccinated first. CDC’s recommendations are based on recommendations from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), an independent panel of medical and public health experts.

The recommendations were made with these goals in mind:

  • Decrease death and serious disease as much as possible.
  • Preserve functioning of society.
  • Reduce the extra burden COVID-19 is having on people already facing disparities.

CDC recommends that initial supplies of COVID-19 vaccine be allocated to healthcare personnel and long-term care facility residents. This is referred to as Phase 1a. CDC made this recommendation on Dec. 3, 2020.

Prairie Ridge Hospital and Health Services of Morris and Stevens Community Medical Center and West Wind Village all began vaccinating staff and residents last week (photos above).
Read more in the Stevens County Times e-edition here.

CDC recommends that, in the next phases (Phase 1b and Phase 1c), vaccination should be offered to people in the following groups. CDC made this recommendation on December 22, 2020.

Phase 1b includes:

  • Frontline essential workers such as fire fighters, police officers, corrections officers, food and agricultural workers, United States Postal Service workers, manufacturing workers, grocery store workers, public transit workers, and those who work in the educational sector (teachers, support staff, and daycare workers.)
  • People aged 75 years and older because they are at high risk of hospitalization, illness, and death from COVID-19. People aged 75 years and older who are also residents of long-term care facilities should be offered vaccination in Phase 1a.

Phase 1c includes:

  • People aged 65—74 years because they are at high risk of hospitalization, illness, and death from COVID-19. People aged 65—74 years who are also residents of long-term care facilities should be offered vaccination in Phase 1a.
  • People aged 16—64 years with underlying medical conditions which increase the risk of serious, life-threatening complications from COVID-19.
  • Other essential workers, such as people who work in transportation and logistics, food service, housing construction and finance, information technology, communications, energy, law, media, public safety, and public health.

As vaccine availability increases, vaccination recommendations will expand to include more groups.

The goal is for everyone to be able to easily get a COVID-19 vaccination as soon as large quantities of vaccine are available. As vaccine supply increases but remains limited, ACIP will expand the groups recommended for vaccination.

Katie Erdman