Amy Caron, the Public Health Director for Dodge and Steele Counties, has announced the plan for distribution of the Moderna Vaccine against the COVID-19 virus in Dodge County.
The initial doses of the Moderna Vaccine have been received and it is a series of two shots given 28 days apart.
The Public Health Department is working closely with the state Department of Health on the plan. There are very specific directives from the Centers for Disease Control and the Department of Health about how the vaccine is to be distributed. There are three phases.
Within Phase 1, there are three tiers of populations. The CDC defines the phases as follows: 1a: Healthcare personnel and long-term care facility residents.
1b: Frontline essential workers and people age 75 years and older.
1c: People aged 65 through 74 years and people aged 16 through 64 years with underlying medical conditions and other essential workers.
In Dodge County, those in Phase 1a are currently being vaccinated in the first COVID-19 Vaccine drive-thru clinic organized by staff members of Dodge County Public Health and Dodge County Emergency Management. Here, the Phase 1a category includes: Healthcare workers (hospital, Clinic, Public Health, vaccinators); long-term care facility staff and residents; Emergency Medical Service personnel, Emergency Medical Record Certified Staff and some other First Responders.
Caron explained that once the Public Health Department is given the green light from the Minnesota Department of Health, other county personnel who choose to will be vaccinated, also in a drive-thru clinic. It is not known when that will be.
Caron said, “Our goal is to be able to offer vaccine to the general public in April/May. In the meantime, we will be vaccinating those in each tier of the Phases the most efficiently we are able to.”
She also noted that side effects of the vaccine have been very mild for those who have had it, such as a sore arm where the vaccine was given. Some people have had no side effects.
More information about the pandemic is available at www.co.dodge.mn.us/departments/public_health.php
The Centers for Disease Control website is www.cdc.gov/vaccines