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CHI St. Joseph Health’s staff receives COVID-19 vaccine

CHI St. Joseph’s Health began vaccinating their frontline health care workers on Monday, Dec. 21.

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Dr. Larry Kobriger, from the CHI St. Joseph's Health emergency department, receives the Pfizer vaccine on Dec. 21, 2020.

Local vaccination efforts against COVID-19 have begun.

According to a news release, CHI St. Joseph’s Health began vaccinating their frontline health care workers on Monday, Dec. 21. The first dose of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine arrived early in the morning from the designated hub, Sanford Health in Bemidji.

“It is an extraordinary undertaking and what we’ve all been working so hard for these last months – to reach the turning point in the pandemic,” said Ben Koppelman, president of CHI St. Joseph’s Health.

The first vaccine allocations are specifically targeted for healthcare workers, including EMS, and long-term care.

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Stacy Kimball, and emergency room RN at CHI St. Joseph’s Health, was among the 150 employees who signed up for the vaccination.

“This is a historical time and major milestone in our battle against COVID-19,” said Deb Haagenson, vice president of patient care.

More than 150 CHI St. Joseph’s Health employees have signed up to be vaccinated throughout the week.

A clinical interdisciplinary group at St. Joseph’s played a vital role in the first phase of the COVID-19 vaccine coordination and training. Vaccinating the healthcare workforce is the first step in fighting this virus and protecting frontline workers and patients.

Dr. John Lageson, hospitalist and chief of staff, said, “I am excited to receive the vaccine as one way I can protect myself, my family and our patients. This is a turning point, a beginning of an end.”

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Dr. John Lageson, chief of staff at CHI St. Joseph's Health, receives the first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine on Monday. The nurse administering the shot is wearing two PPEs, both a face shield and a face mask.

Community Health Director Marlee Morrison said it remains important that the public continue to follow Minnesota Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control guidelines for the pandemic: wash your hands regularly, wear face coverings in public, stay home when you are sick and maintain social distance. These measures, in combination with the vaccine, will help the community recover from the pandemic.

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Related Topics: COVID-19 VACCINE
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