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‘Preparations are underway’ for COVID-19 vaccine in Cook County

The first Minnesotans who will get the new coronavirus vaccine in the initial wave could get their shots as early as Christmas week, Gov. Tim Walz announced Dec. 8, according to the Associated Press.

Cook County and all of Minnesota will follow federal guidance for the first doses to go to people designated as ‘Phase 1a’, which likely means health care personnel and long-term care facility residents, according to Grace Grinager, the public health supervisor in Cook County. Secondary phases concerning the release of the vaccine will include essential workers and people with high-risk medical conditions and residents 65 years old and older.

Details about when the general public can get the vaccine have not been determined, the AP reports, but it will probably take six months before the immunizations become commonplace.

WTIP’s Joe Friedrichs spoke with Dr. Kurt Farchmin from Sawtooth Mountain Clinic in Grand Marais to get the latest on the new coronavirus vaccine arriving to Cook County.

During the Dec. 9 interview (full audio shared below), Farchmin explained that the timeline for when the first COVID-19 vaccine shot is administered in Cook County remains fluid.

“The specific dates are still being worked out,” Farchmin said.

Given the fluidness of the situation, it is possible, or even likely, that the first vaccine could arrive within a week or two, Farchmin said.