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COVID-19 vaccinations begin at 1st long-term care facility in Albert Lea

COVID-19 vaccinations began at the first long-term care facility in Albert Lea on Wednesday.

Good Samaritan Society partnered with Walgreens pharmacy to offer vaccines to residents and staff. According to a press release, Walgreens will be on-site at the care facility three times to ensure residents and staff have the opportunity to get both doses of the Moderna vaccine.

The two-dose series is separated by 28 days, and getting both doses is critical to achieving the 95% efficacy, the release said. The facility is highly recommending all residents get the vaccine given the danger COVID-19 poses to older adults and people with underlying health conditions.

Good Samaritan Administrator Katie Davis said the vaccine has gone through testing and clinical trials to ensure it meets the highest safety standards.

“The health and safety of our residents and staff remains our top priority, and we are confident this vaccine is safe for use,” Davis said. “The more residents and staff who are vaccinated, the better we can protect our community against potential outbreaks and save lives. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. A safe and effective vaccine will bring a pivotal change in the fight against COVID-19.”

Davis said more than 110 people were vaccinated Wednesday. On Jan. 27, the care center will have its second clinic date with another round of residents and employees getting their first dose, and the initial people getting their second dose. A third clinic date set for the end of February will give the second dose to the second round of residents and employees.

The release stated the care facility will continue to take all necessary precautions after the vaccine is administered, including wearing personal protective equipment and conducting regular testing to ensure safety of residents and staff.

Vaccinations are expected to begin at St. John’s Lutheran Community in Albert Lea on Thursday.

Freeborn County Public Health Director Sue Yost said there is not a timeline yet on when seniors outside of long-term care settings will be able to get the vaccine, but it will be advertised when it is available to people 75 and older.