Glacial Ridge Health System’s COVID-19 Vaccine Plan Update

Glacial Ridge Health System’s COVID-19 Vaccine Plan Update

Glacial Ridge hospital and clinics are experiencing a high volume of phone calls inquiring about getting the COVID-19 vaccine. In an effort to continue to serve all patient needs, Glacial Ridge patients are encouraged to follow these steps to get the latest information on vaccine opportunities.

Patients of Glacial Ridge Health System will be called when they’re eligible for the vaccine and to schedule an appointment.

At this time, we are hopeful that GRHS will receive more vaccines and that they will be arriving on a regular basis. When GRHS receives more vaccines, we will work our way through the internal list of our highest-risk patients already identified. You do not need to call to request to be on a waitlist and vaccine appointments are not being made because we do not know when we may have the vaccine.

Minnesota is receiving far fewer COVID-19 vaccines than the number of people who want it, and the vaccine is allocated by the federal government to the states. From there, the states distribute it to various entities to get it out to the public. Patience is required because it will take time to vaccinate everyone. Fortunately, production is increasing nationally.

In the Past 6 Weeks:

  • nurse giving shotGRHS has vaccinated staff, fire departments, law enforcement, and various other front-line workers in the area.
  • GRHS created an internal list, identifying patients age 65 and older with high-risk health conditions per the CDC criteria. The internal list currently has approximately 1,000 names.
  • We were able to give about 280 of our highest risk-patients their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine in mid-January.
  • To be as fair as possible, high-risk patients from the internal list were randomly selected and contacted. This is why your neighbor, friend, or spouse may have been called but you did not receive a call for an appointment to get the vaccine from us.
  • Patients who received their first vaccine in mid-January at GRHS are guaranteed to receive their second vaccine, which begins in early February.

Moving Forward:

  • As we know, vaccines are in very short supply. Things are changing quickly – sometimes on a daily basis.
  • You do not need to contact us if you are a patient of Glacial Ridge. If GRHS is allocated additional vaccines from the state, we will call the highest-risk patients on our internal list to make an appointment for the vaccine.
  • The West Central Coalition, comprising of seven hospitals in the region including GRHS, is advocating to get more vaccine to our area and a consistent allocation of doses per week from the state.
  • Rural, non-system affiliated hospitals may get some doses through a random drawing from the state of Minnesota.
  • A waitlist is not being created at GRHS. Federal and state guidelines for prioritization and distribution determine who is eligible to receive the vaccine.

How to Determine When and Where You Can Be Vaccinated

With the limited supply of vaccines at this time, if you can secure a vaccine in another manner, go ahead and do that.

If you are a patient at Glacial Ridge Health System, you are already on our internal list and do not need to call. GRHS will continue to follow federal and state guidelines if and when more vaccines are received. For frequently updated information on COVID regarding testing, vaccination, getting care, and more, visit GRHS’ COVID-19 Resource Hub at response.glacialridge.org

Additionally, watch for information from Horizon Public Health through their website at horizonpublichealth.org and all media on getting additional vaccines to Pope County residents when they receive more.

You may also check the Minnesota Department of Health website to learn if you are eligible to register and be entered into the lottery for an appointment at one of their nine sites. People currently eligible to register for the COVID-19 vaccine at their sites include Minnesotans age 65 and older and K-12 educators and childcare providers. The closest ones to Pope County residents are in Fergus Falls and St. Cloud. On this site, you can find other locations that may be keeping a waitlist. Call 833.431.2053 or go online at mn.gov/findmyvaccine. GRHS decided not to be listed on this site; see above bullet points for information.

Stay Safe – Keep Following the 3 Ws

Until a vaccine can be given to everyone who would like it, and even if you are vaccinated, continue to follow the 3W’s – Wait 6 feet apart, Wear a face covering, and Wash your hands for 20 seconds. This practice is helping slow the spread of COVID-19, as well as influenza and other illnesses we would normally see in our community this time of year.