Sherburne sees 6,790 get at least one dose and 2,268 finish the series

by Joni Astrup

Associate Editor

COVID-19 vaccination efforts continue to unfold in Sherburne County.

Overall, 6,790 people have received at least one dose of the vaccine and 2,268 have completed the two-dose vaccine series, according to Nicole Ruhoff, public health manager at Sherburne County Health and Human Services. She updated the Board of Commissioners on Tuesday.

Of the doses administered in the county so far, Sherburne County Public Health has given 24% of them.

To find COVID-19 vaccine providers in the greater Elk River area, check the Minnesota Department of Health vaccine finder at https://tinyurl.com/36xtlatn. MDH notes that there is still a limited amount of vaccine available.

County board adopts

operations guide

Sherburne County Health and Human Services Director Amanda Larson said there have been a lot of questions about COVID-19 vaccines. She said the county is operating under Minnesota Department of Health guidance, which is pretty clear-cut.

The county’s procedures are outlined in the COVID-19 Vaccine Field Operations Guide, a 42-page document that was approved Tuesday by the County Board. To see it, go to https://tinyurl.com/vafyj9jk.

Larson described the document as “fairly dry,” but said it includes information on how they determine who gets vaccinated from week to week, as well as information about the vaccine stand-by list and about clinic volunteers.

She said they have had a great volunteer response at the clinics. Most are retired health care workers. They are organized through Minnesota Responds, a statewide medical volunteer program.

Meanwhile, Commissioner Lisa Fobbe worries about the people falling through the cracks. She said she gets about a call a week from an elderly person living independently who typically does not have a computer or a family member to help them get access to a vaccine.

“My heart goes out to those people,” Fobbe said.

County Administrator Bruce Messelt said they are preparing an informational flyer to distribute to churches, community centers and other places to provide information about COVID-19 vaccines. He also said that they want to temper false hope, noting that the county is still only getting very limited doses of the vaccine.

Larson said another option is for those people to contact their health care systems, as they are giving special prioritization to people ages 75 and older.

(Editor’s note: Since the Sherburne County Board met on Feb. 16, Gov. Tim Walz has announced the launch of the Minnesota COVID-19 Vaccine Connector, a tool designed to help all Minnesotans find out when, where, and how to get their COVID-19 vaccine. Walz encourages Minnesotans who have not yet been vaccinated to sign up for the COVID-19 Vaccine Connector, regardless of their current vaccine eligibility status, at mn.gov/vaccineconnector. Minnesotans unable to sign up online can call 833-431-2053 for assistance signing up over the phone. Translation is available by phone in all languages. Minnesotans can call the translation hotline at 833-431-2053 for assistance signing up over the phone.

As of Feb. 22 in Sherburne County, 7,408 people have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and 3,230 have completed the two-dose series.)

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