There is a light at the end of the tunnel of this COVID-19 pandemic. Vaccines started rolling out for distribution last month from the companies of Pfizer and Moderna.

Some of the Pfizer vaccines were delivered to Maple Grove Hospital on Dec. 17.

According to Katy Sullivan, the hospital’s system communications manager, the vaccine allocation was determined by the Minnesota Department of Health.

“The Maple Grove Hospital COVID-19 vaccination program is available to team members at Maple Grove Hospital as well as other staff in the North Memorial Health system,” she said.

Maple Grove Hospital CEO Andy Cochrane said it was great day for Maple Grove Hospital when the vaccine arrived. “This is clearly a big step, a first step, in us getting over this virus,” he said. “I know pharmacy teams, the medical staff, really everyone across our health system has been working on this for weeks to prepare for this.”

There is a process to determine who received the first vaccine doses.

“We used the allocation and prioritization framework developed by MDH to guide our scheduling of team members and providers for COVID-19 vaccinations,” Sullivan said. “We started vaccinating staff on Monday, Dec. 21. While the early distribution will be prioritized for those in front line clinical care roles, we anticipate in the upcoming weeks and months that we will have enough vaccine for broader distribution to team members across the organization.”

Cochrane added, “We’re excited to start vaccinating. It’s a big step in us getting back to some sense of normalcy and protecting our team members, protecting our providers, protecting the community. We’re excited to keep moving ahead.”

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