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Washington County Public Health and Environment received its first shipment of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine and began vaccinating certified Emergency Medical Services staff and community vaccinators Dec. 29.

Washington County is a registered vaccine provider through the Minnesota Department of Health. Vaccines are being distributed following the priority groups set forth by MDH and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

During the initial phase, Washington County is providing vaccinations to individuals who will administer vaccines, and working closely with 14 local police and fire departments to offer vaccinations to certified EMS providers in the county, according to a Dec. 31 press release from the county. On the first two days of clinics, 271 individuals were vaccinated, with plans in place for two more clinic days. Additional plans include administration of the second Moderna dose 28 days after the first shot.

“This is a momentous and historic moment for our community. The vaccine signals a turning point in the fight against COVID-19,” Lowell Johnson, Director of Washington County Public Health and Environment, said. “The vaccine is just one tool in our toolbox to address COVID. We must continue to be diligent about washing our hands, wearing masks, and keeping our distance to keep ourselves and our community healthy.”

As of the Dec. 31 press release, COVID-19 had killed more than 5,000 Minnesotans, including 187 Washington County residents,

Washington County will receive additional allocations of vaccine from MDH each week. Until vaccines are universally available, Washington County urges residents to continue to wear a mask, stay at least six feet away from others, wash hands often, and stay home when sick.

For the latest information about vaccines and availability, visit https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/vaccine.html.

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