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Vaccine pilot program set up to train counties for mass vaccinations

Mankato KEYC-TV logo Mankato KEYC-TV 1/20/2021 Lauren Andrego
a hand holding a guitar: Nine counties across Minnesota will soon begin a COVID-19 vaccination pilot program, and North Mankato will host one of those sites. © Lauren Andrego Nine counties across Minnesota will soon begin a COVID-19 vaccination pilot program, and North Mankato will host one of those sites.

MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) — Nine counties across Minnesota will soon begin a COVID-19 vaccination pilot program, and North Mankato will host one of those sites.

Just hours after registration opened Tuesday, demand far outpaced the doses available. But health officials want you to know the point of this pilot program is not to vaccinate every person over age 65.

“This is not a true mass vaccine clinic,” Nicollet County Public Health and Human Services Director Cassandra Sassenberg said. “It’s really intended to get started, but really to learn.”

Around 1,000 people per week will receive their first dose at the North Mankato site, where staff will evaluate the clinic’s efficiency from start to finish.

”So the goal of this is, when this is completed, we know how mass vaccine will work in the future. So it’s going to be much easier when the vaccine does become available, for us to have clinics up and running across the state,” stated Sassenberg.

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Those who do get an appointment reservation will receive location details at that time. They’ll be greeted outside to make sure they’re registered.

”They’ll then come in and complete their registration process, and they will join what we call a pod, which will be a group of people who are getting vaccinated at the same time. And then they will remain there where they can be monitored by a nurse for 15 minutes,” Sassenberg explained.

Minnesota is still in Phase 1A of vaccines. Many frontline health care workers still haven’t received their first dose. So, through the frustration of site crashes and waiting lists, keep in mind, the process will be faster and smoother once more vaccines arrive in our state.

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