COVID-19 vaccine information is changing rapidly! The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has the current information regarding:
- When will the vaccine be available
- Who is able to get vaccinated
- Is the vaccine safe
- Why we need a vaccine
- More about the vaccine
- What you can do right now
COVID-19 vaccination will take a phased approach. Phase 1 has started with limited doses. These early doses will be given to people working in health care settings who are at the highest risk for COVID-19 exposure and residents of long-term care facilities. Other groups that may get some of the earlier doses in phase 1 are essential workers, adults with high-risk medical conditions, older adults (65 years and older), and some adults living in congregate settings like group homes.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Vaccine Information
- Benefits of Getting a Vaccine
- Different COVID-19 Vaccines
- Ensuring the Safety of COVID-19 Vaccines in the United States
- V-Safe is a smartphone-based tool that uses text messaging and web surveys to provide personalized health check-ins after you receive a COVID-19 vaccination
If you would like information about Coronavirus or COVID-19, please go to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.
More Information and Resources
- The FDA's Scientific and Regulatory Oversight of Vaccines is Vital to Public Health
- Biopharma Leaders Unite to Stand with Science
View Information From Mayo Clinic Health System
Regarding COVID-19 Immunizations at Mayo Clinic Health System:
For more information, visit https://www.mayoclinichealthsystem.org/covid-19-semn-vaccination-phase
Highlights from Mayo Clinic Health System Southeast Minnesota
If you are a Mayo Clinic patient who sees a care team in Southeast Minnesota, Mayo Clinic Health System will contact you when you’re eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
Your eligibility is based on state guidelines and vaccine availability. Patients cannot yet receive the vaccine by request, and we are unable to support COVID-19 vaccine eligibility questions over the phone or through Patient Online Services at this time. Please wait for notification from your care team.
To receive eligibility information faster, set up a Patient Online Services account. You’ll get an online message instead of a mailed letter when you become eligible. You’ll also be able to schedule your vaccination online when it is convenient for you and avoid waiting on the phone. If you need help creating your account, call 1-877-858-0398, weekdays from 7 a.m.–7 p.m. CT.
COVID-19 is a respiratory virus that can easily spread. It shares several symptoms with influenza, but it’s treated differently. If you are showing any sign of possible COVID-19 symptoms, call our COVID-19 Nurse Line at 507-293-9525 to learn about getting tested or contact your local health care provider. If you meet testing criteria, you will be directed to one of our local testing sites.
If you are calling MCHS-Albert Lea after 5 pm, please call 507-373-2384 and ask for the COVID Triage Nurse Line.
People SHOULD NOT go directly to Emergency Room, Urgent Care or show up at the clinic if they think they were exposed to COVID-19. Call the numbers above. Expect delays while on hold.
If a person has a sudden change in their health such as sudden onset of chest pain, difficulty breathing etc., call 911.
Remember stay home if you are sick and avoid contact with people who are sick. Wash your hands and avoid touching your face. Cover your cough or sneeze and clean frequently touched surfaces.
View Information From Minnesota Department Of Health
Questions about COVID-19? Call the Minnesota Helpline: 651-297-1304 or 1-800-657-3504, Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
How do I know if I have COVID-19? I think I have coronavirus, what should I do?
- If you haven’t traveled outside of MN or been notified of an exposure to a confirmed case, your risk is likely low
- If you are ill, you should stay home from work/school, and all other activities
- Symptoms are similar to other respiratory illnesses, so it is important to think about those too – you might actually have something else
- Regardless of what your symptoms are, if you are concerned about your health you should call your provider and they can help determine what you should do and what testing you may need
- If you would like to be tested for coronavirus, call ahead to your doctor’s office
- Have your doctor also assess you for influenza or other viral respiratory illnesses, we are currently seeing a lot of influenza in Minnesota
- If you do not currently have any symptoms, it is not appropriate to be tested for coronavirus
What can I do to protect myself?
- The most important thing Minnesotans can do right now to help protect themselves, their families and their communities is to take those tried and true, everyday steps to prevent respiratory illnesses. Those include:
‒ Covering your coughs and sneezes with a tissue and then throwing the tissue in the trash.
‒ Washing your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom or before eating. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
‒ Avoid touching your face – especially your eyes, nose and mouth - with unwashed hands.
‒ Stay home if you have cold or flu-like symptoms, and avoid close contact with people who are sick.
Should I wear a mask?
- Surgical masks and/or dust masks that are readily available to the public are not effective at protecting you from illness ‒ Surgical masks are designed to protect droplets from spreading from the person wearing the mask, and won’t protect you from droplets from others
‒ Dust masks will not filter droplets or illness in either direction