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COVID-19 Vaccine

Tri-County Health Care wants to provide safe and efficient vaccination for everyone. A COVID-19 vaccine will be arriving soon, and many are eager to get the shot, but first, refer to the information below. You deserve the utmost knowledge about the vaccine, any side-effects and instructions for receiving it.

Local Updates

What is the current status of the COVID-19 vaccine distribution?

Tri-County Health Care began administering the vaccine to health care personnel on Dec. 21 as part of Phase 1a. This phase also includes long-term care residents. The next phases include:

  • Phase 1b: adults aged 75 and over and essential frontline workers
  • Phase 1c: adults aged 65-74, people 16-64 with high-risk medical conditions and other essential workers
The Minnesota Department of Health guidance on Phase 1a distribution is located here.


When will the COVID-19 vaccine be available to the public?

The final phase of distribution will be to the general public. It is not yet determined when this phase will begin. However, the Minnesota Department of Health ensures that all residents will have access to a vaccine.

Several COVID-19 vaccines are in development. Numerous testing procedures are in place to ensure they are safe before public distribution. When those eligible for future phases of the vaccine are identified, a communication plan will be developed to provide additional instructions. Announcements will be available through direct phone calls, social media posts, newspaper notices, direct mail, radio announcements and on this web page.

What can you do now?

Slowing the spread of COVID-19 during the vaccine distribution period is very important. Do not stop using mitigation tactics. Wear a mask, wash your hands often, physically distance and stay home if you’re sick. You can also receive your flu vaccine – talk to your provider before getting your flu shot if you plan to get the COVID-19 vaccine within the following 14 days. While it does not protect against COVID-19, it will help you stay healthy and limit the use of health care resources on flu-related illness. Remember, slowing the virus will help keep people healthy until the COVID-19 vaccine is widely available.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of getting a COVID-19 vaccine?

COVID-19 can cause severe medical complications and there is no way to know how the virus will affect you. Infected individuals can also spread the disease to friends, family and others around them.

Getting a COVID-19 vaccine helps protect you by creating an antibody response in your body without having to become sick with COVID-19. The vaccine can prevent you from getting COVID-19 or keep you from becoming seriously ill or developing complications.

What COVID-19 vaccines have been approved and how do they work? Are they safe?

There are several COVID-19 vaccines in clinical trials. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration reviews the results of these trials before approving COVID-19 vaccines for use. Data collected from trials must show that vaccines are safe and effective before the FDA can give emergency use authorization. For more information on the process, read our blog post here.

Are there side effects after getting the COVID-19 vaccine?

The side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine may feel like the flu and might even affect your ability to do daily activities but should go away in a few days. Mild side effects may include pain, redness or swelling where the shot is given, fever, fatigue, headache, muscle pain, chills or joint paint. Click here for additional information on side effects and helpful tips for reducing pain and discomfort after vaccination.

What about herd immunity?

Herd immunity occurs when most people in a population are immune to a disease. Being immune means they cannot get the disease because they either got a vaccine or already had the disease and cannot get it again, at least for a while.

We do not know enough about COVID-19 to be sure herd immunity is possible. COVID-19 is a new disease and there has not been enough time to fully study immunity yet.

  • We do not know how long a person cannot get sick again after they already were sick with COVID-19
  • We do not know if being infected before will make the next infection better or worse
  • We do not know if a person who was ill before and then has contact with COVID-19 again will be able to pass the virus to others again

We cannot let herd immunity happen naturally, at the cost of thousands of Minnesotans getting very sick and possibly dying. Vaccination is a way to reach herd immunity without people getting sick and/or dying. Vaccination lets a person’s body develop protection against a disease without having to get sick. (Source: MDH)

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Community Town Hall - Jan. 12, 2021

Hear from our experts on the status of COVID-19 cases in the area, vaccinations, treatments, and updates on the new building project.

The COVID-19 Vaccine - Dr. Monson

Tri-County Health Care General Surgeon, Tim Monson, M.D. expresses his support of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Health Care Workers Receive First COVID-19 Vaccine

The first COVID-19 vaccinations took place at Tri-County Health Care on Dec. 21.

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The First Three
Dr. Redig receives first dose
Abbey Truh, RN supports COVID-19 vaccine
Julie Stevens, RN happy to receive the vaccine
Dr. Hess proud to be vaccinated

The First Three

From left to right, Abbey Truh, RN; Rachel Redig, M.D.; and Julie Stevens, RN were the first staff at Tri-County Health Care to receive the COVID-19 vaccine on Dec. 21, 2020.

Dr. Redig receives first dose

Dr. Redig was the first in line for the COVID-19 vaccine. She received the first of 150 doses distributed to Tri-County Health Care.

Abbey Truh, RN supports COVID-19 vaccine

Abbey Truh, RN has been a lifelong supporter of vaccines and views them as the ultimate solution for removing disease from the population.

Julie Stevens, RN happy to receive the vaccine

Julie Stevens, RN was excited to receive the vaccine and strongly encouraged others to receive it when the opportunity comes.

Dr. Hess proud to be vaccinated

Ben Hess, M.D. and Tri-County Health Care Chief Medical Officer showed off his bandaid after receiving his vaccination on Dec. 22.