Expanded E-12 definition
Last week, the State of Minnesota expanded the E-12 definition to include all staff, not just student-facing staff. This change adds roughly another 1,800 people in Olmsted County who are eligible for a COVID-19 vaccination. Olmsted County Public Health Services is working with school districts and child care providers directly to get E-12 staff vaccinated when vaccine becomes available.
Vaccination of non-Minnesota residents
A person does not have to be a resident of Minnesota to get vaccinated here. Many people live in bordering states and regularly seek medical care in Minnesota and/or are employed in Minnesota. It is permissible to vaccinate non-Minnesota residents if they fall into one of the priority groups currently eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine.
Mayo Clinic continues to receive a small weekly shipment of COVID-19 vaccines for Minnesota residents 65 and older. Given the need to equitably distribute doses and the high number of patients in this age group, Mayo Clinic is currently vaccinating those 75 and older. COVID-19 vaccination eligibility will continue to expand to younger age groups as COVID-19 vaccines are supplied.
For patients to be vaccinated for COVID-19 by Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, they must:
- Have a primary care provider at Mayo, have been seen within the past two years, and have a residence in Minnesota (may include some Iowa and Wisconsin patients); or,
- Have been seen at Mayo Clinic within the past two years and have a residence within the catchment area where they were seen. These criteria will be used for patients who do not have a primary care provider at Mayo ― that is, they have been to Mayo for specialty care only.
The catchment area includes Blue Earth, Brown, Dodge, Faribault, Fillmore, Freeborn, Goodhue, Houston, Le Sueur, Martin, Mower, Nicollet, Olmsted, Rice, Scott, Steele, Wabasha, Waseca, Watonwan, and Winona counties. Patients who meet these criteria will receive a phone call or an invitation via Patient Online Services to schedule an appointment to be vaccinated for COVID-19.
Olmsted Medical Center (OMC)
OMC remains committed to providing the COVID-19 vaccination to its patients and will contact patients as they become eligible. OMC is currently offering vaccinations to patients 80+ when it has vaccine available. When finished with this group, OMC will be offering vaccine to patients working down through the age groups, as vaccine is available and depending on the amount of vaccine received. In addition to the eligible patient being contacted, OMC will also include others in the same household if they are 65 years of age or older. OMC does not have a timeframe for when the next age group will start or what ages will be included.
Patients eligible for the vaccine will be contacted by OMC; there is no sign-up list. For patients not on OMC MyChart, they will be contacted by phone or text.
Olmsted County Public Health Services (OCPHS)
As of February 11, 2021, Olmsted County Public Health Services (OCPHS) has administered 3,527 vaccine doses. OCPHS continues to work with employers to vaccinate remaining individuals in Phase 1A, as well as E-12 schools and child care providers. OCPHS has offered the COVID-19 vaccine to approximately 50-60% of student-facing staff working in E-12 and child care in the county. Our smaller districts are farther along (and nearing completion) than Rochester Public Schools, due to the size difference. We know others in this group may have been offered and vaccinated through one of the state pilot programs or through their local health department if they live outside of Olmsted County, making estimates more difficult; staff are also not required to tell their employer if they did or did not get vaccinated, as this is private health information.
To date, 514 Olmsted County businesses, organizations, and agencies have completed the business vaccination planning form. Progress is being made as a community with 24.2% of the total population having received at least one dose of vaccine and 11.5% completing the two-dose series. Olmsted County has the third-highest vaccination percentage in the state. Good progress is being made with adults 65 and older with 35.5% of county residents having received at least one dose through their medical provider or one of the state-run clinics.
Olmsted County receives $154,679 for COVID-19 vaccination implementation
Olmsted County was awarded a $154,679 grant from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) to aid in the rapid administration of COVID-19 vaccinations in our area. In total, MDH is allocating $6.9 million to local public health agencies across the state to help with vaccine implementation.
Pandemic vaccination efforts are a combined state and local responsibility that requires close collaboration between public health, health care, and external agencies as well as community partners.
Grant funds will be used to:
- Administer COVID-19 vaccinations as rapidly as possible, typically within one week of receipt, to prioritized groups based on jurisdictional priorities and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and MDH.
- Work with local partners (regional health care coalitions, long-term care facilities, community vaccinators, pharmacists, etc.) to ensure the vaccination of priority groups.
- Ensure clinic hours are accessible to a wide range of individuals in the community. This includes hosting events on evenings and weekends and considering accessibility considerations (e.g. ADA compliant locations, ability to reach vaccination sites via public transportation, etc.).
“We appreciate these funds from the state to help us in our community-wide vaccination efforts,” said Olmsted County Board of Commissioners Chair Stephanie Podulke. “So many people in our community are partnering to get Olmsted County residents vaccinated as quickly as possible. In fact, more than 24 percent of Olmsted County has been vaccinated to date. We’re getting there, but it will take time. We appreciate everyone’s patience and continued adherence to COVID-19 health and safety measures.”
Education / information
COVID-19 vaccine will be free for you
The COVID-19 vaccine will be provided to people at no cost. However, health care providers will be able to charge an administration fee. This means you might be asked for your insurance information when you get the COVID-19 vaccine. You may still receive the COVID-19 vaccine if you do not have insurance and/or cannot pay the administration fee.
Vaccine side effects
After receiving a COVID-19 vaccination, you may have some side effects. These are normal signs that your body is building protection. After getting the COVID-19 vaccine, you will probably have a sore arm and you might have muscle aches, tiredness, headache, or maybe a fever (fever is less common). Sometimes these side effects may stop you from doing your normal activities for a couple of days.