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Vaccine rollout moves to residents aged 75 and older

By Sue Sitter - | Jan 2, 2021

Providers at Heart of America Johnson Clinic and Lake Region District Health Unit in Pierce County have begun contacting area residents aged 75 and older for doses of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine.

Darcie Rose, public information officer at Heart of America Medical Center, and Samantha Wentz, public health nurse with Lake Region District Health Unit in Pierce County, said the group topped the list of high-risk populations in phase 1B of the North Dakota Department of Health’s vaccine rollout plan.

The plan lists eight groups of phase 1B vaccine recipients in order of their risk for COVID-19.

Listed by priority after persons age 75 and older are persons aged 65 to 74 with two or more high-risk medical conditions; staff and persons living in congregate settings such as group homes, treatment centers, correction centers and shelters; persons aged 65 or older with one or more high-risk medical conditions; persons 65 and older with or without high-risk medical conditions; persons with two or more high-risk medical conditions regardless of age; child care workers and workers employed by preschools or kindergarten through 12th grade schools including teachers, aides, nutrition workers, administrative staff, custodial staff and bus drivers.

In a written statement, Rose said the Moderna vaccine would be given in two parts, “with the second dose being delivered 28 days after the initial injection.”

“Those with questions regarding eligibility or wanting to get on a waiting list should call the COVID Hotline at 776-5455, extension 2201,” Rose said.

“Say you’re a childcare worker, but you know you’re not going to eligible until the (higher-risk groups in in phase 1B) have been contacted. You can still get on the waiting list,” Rose explained.

Wentz said the waiting list at LRDU would focus primarily on the first group in phase 1B.

“We’re starting our group this week for (patients) 75 and older,” she said. “We’re taking a waiting list, too, for 75 and older. Our first priority group is 75 and older.”

Wentz said she was unsure about when the immunization plan for other phase 1B groups would move forward.

“We’re waiting to hear from the state based on how much vaccine they’re going to send out,” Wentz noted.

The Lake Region District Health Unit Pierce County office is located in the Pierce County Courthouse. Those with questions can call the office at 776-6783.

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