COVID-19 Vaccine

The first, limited doses of COVID-19 are going to health care workers and long-term care residents. These people do not have the option of remaining home and separating themselves from others. The next available doses will be prioritized based on the phases below.

The Minnesota Department of Health announced a pilot program to expand vaccine distribution in Minnesota. Nine pilot vaccination sites are opening up across the state to vaccinate adults age 65+, early childhood-to-12th grade educators, and child care workers. Educators and child care workers will receive appointments through their workplace. Those age 65+ can sign up online at https://www.mn.gov/covid19/vaccine/find-vaccine/index.jsp or by calling 612-426-7230. There continues to be a very limited supply of COVID-19 vaccine in Minnesota, meaning there are very few appointments available.

 

Wright County Public Health continues to vaccinate health care workers included in Phase 1A, and we continue to experience vaccine shortages that prevent us from rapidly vaccinating this phase. All of the vaccine provided to Wright County Public Health for first doses has been allocated to individuals in Phase 1A. We haven't been given any additional vaccine or a timeline on when we will next get vaccine.


 Phase  Priority Groups
 1a  Health care personnel and long-term care facility residents
 1b  Frontline essential workers and adults age 75 years and older (THESE GROUPS ARE CHANGING)
 1c  Adults ages 65-74, people ages 16-64 years with high risk medical conditions, and other essential workers (THESE GROUPS ARE CHANGING)
 2  General population

We do not know the timeline of when each priority group will be able to get the vaccine in Minnesota. This will depend on how much vaccine the manufacturers are able to make and send, and how many people get vaccinated in the first priority groups.


Updates will be provided when we are able to start vaccinating more people and we will provide more information at that time for how eligible people can get vaccinated.

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Learn About COVID-19 Vaccine

COVID-19 Vaccine Frequently Asked Questions


When will a COVID-19 vaccine be available?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines. Other COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers are in earlier stages of development and testing.

The COVID-19 vaccine will be distributed in phases to different groups of people. In the first phase, phase 1A, the vaccine will be given to people who work in health care settings and people who live or work in long-term care facilities. As vaccine supply increases in the months to come, more people will have the chance to get vaccinated. Ultimately, all Minnesotans will have an opportunity to get vaccinated.

Who will be able to get vaccinated?

Even though we have two vaccines approved for emergency use, it will still take time before everyone can get it. We need to vaccinate hundreds of millions of people in the United States alone, so it will be a long process to make, distribute, and give that many doses of vaccine.

The goal for the first, limited doses of COVID-19 vaccine is to protect those who are exposed to COVID-19 every day because of what they do, who they care for, or where they live. In addition, we are seeing high rates of severe disease in nursing home residents and other congregate settings where older adults live. With this in mind, the first doses of COVID-19 vaccine are being given to people working in health care settings and people who live and work in long-term care facilities. They do not have the option of remaining home and separating themselves from others. Other groups that will get the early vaccine doses include frontline essential workers, adults 75 years and older, people with high-risk medical conditions, and other essential workers.

Who decides who will get vaccinated?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) makes recommendations on who should get the vaccine. MDH has brought together a COVID-19 Vaccine Allocation Advisory Group to help us make sure we are fairly and strategically making decisions for how vaccine should be distributed. The advisory group is made up of external partners who represent key populations in the state, such as local public health, long-term care, pharmacy partners, diverse communities, and more. Find their guidance for prioritizing COVID-19 vaccine at COVID-19 Vaccine Phases and Planning.


How will we know that COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective?


COVID-19 vaccine development requirements are the same as for all other vaccines. Experts from federal agencies, including the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), review the information collected during the vaccine manufacturers’ testing process to determine whether a vaccine is safe and effective.

Experts continue tracking vaccine safety information once vaccines are given in real-life conditions to make sure they are working as expected.

How will I know when I, a family member, or employees at my business can get their COVID-19 vaccine?

Early on, people who are able to get the vaccine first will be contacted by their employers or the long-term care facility where they live. We will provide updates when vaccine is available to more people and how they can get it.

Will the vaccine change my DNA?

The first two vaccines were made using mRNA technology. mRNA stands for messenger ribonucleic acid. mRNA is not able to alter or modify a person’s genetic makeup (DNA). For more information about ingredients found in vaccines, check out the FDA website.



What ingredients are included in the vaccine?

mRNA (mRNA is for the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19), lipids, salts, and sugar. These are the only ingredients in the mRNA vaccines.

The mRNA vaccines do not include any of the following: fetal material, DNA, antibiotics, blood products, preservatives like thimerosal, gluten, egg proteins, pork products, or microchips.



I have recovered from a lab-confirmed case of COVID-19. Should I still get vaccinated?

Yes, people who had COVID-19 should still get vaccinated. This is because COVID-19 is a new disease, so:
  • We do not know if or for how long after infection someone is protected from getting COVID-19 again (how long they are immune).
  • We do not know if being previously infected will make the next infection better or worse.

Will the COVID-19 vaccine be required?

The government cannot mandate you to get the vaccine. Employers may require it IF they can prove that the vaccination is essential to their employees’ job duties and it does not violate the ADA.

Vaccination is highly encouraged because we know that these vaccines are very effective in preventing severe COVID-19 disease. Getting the vaccine will protect your health and help reduce the strain on the health care system. 


Are there any side effects from getting the vaccine?

The most common side effects from the COVID-19 vaccines are fatigue, headache, and muscle aches. These side effects are most likely to occur one or two days after getting the vaccine. Although most people will not have significant side effects, some people may wish to schedule their vaccination to allow for a day or two of rest afterward. Side effects from the COVID-19 vaccine are a sign that your immune system is working well.


Will I get COVID-19 from the vaccine?

No, there are no live viruses in the COVID-19 vaccines. Therefore, it is impossible to get COVID-19 from the vaccines. However, the vaccines can prevent you from getting a severe case of COVID-19.


How much does a COVID-19 vaccine cost?

The COVID-19 vaccine itself is free. (The federal government has pre-paid for doses for all Americans.) When it’s their turn, most people will get the vaccine through their health care provider. By law, healthcare systems and clinics are allowed to charge vaccine administration fees and/or clinic visit fees. These fees will likely be covered by your insurance. If you do not have insurance or cannot afford these fees, other opportunities for fully free COVID-19 vaccination (e.g., community vaccination events) will become available later in 2021.


Will I still have to wear a mask and physically distance from others once I’ve received the COVID-19 vaccine?

Yes, we will all need to continue to wear masks and practice other prevention steps for some time - even after receiving the vaccine. This is because, at this time, scientists are not yet certain that the vaccine prevents asymptomatic virus spread (i.e., you could get the vaccine but still get infected and spread the virus with mild to no symptoms). When public health experts know more about the protection that COVID-19 vaccines provide, they will update the prevention recommendations.

For now, steps everyone should take to prevent the spread of COVID-19 include physically distancing (6 feet or 2 meters), wearing face masks, staying home when sick, covering your coughs and sneezes, and washing your hands frequently.


Will I still need to get my flu shot if I get the COVID-19 vaccine?

Yes, the viruses that cause COVID-19 and flu are different. Benefits of flu vaccine include:
  • Flu vaccine prevents millions of illnesses and flu-related doctor’s visits each year
  • Flu vaccine prevents tens of thousands of hospitalizations each year
  • Getting a flu vaccine may also protect people around you who are at higher risk for serious flu illness, like babies and young children, older people, and people with certain health conditions

Where can I learn more about the COVID-19 vaccines?