First week of COVID-19 immunizations has wrapped up in North Dakota

The state has received 21,000 total doses, with 7,800 from Pfizer and 13,200 from Moderna

FARGO, N.D. (KVRR) — 8,463 of vulnerable North Dakotans, including health care workers and people living in long term care facilities, have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

“So far, things are definitely going as expected. We still have to get to additional priority groups, but so far I think the first week went well,” says North Dakota Department of Health Immunization Program Manager Molly Howell.

The state has received 21,000 total doses, with 7,800 from Pfizer and 13,200 from Moderna.

Howell says nobody in the state who has received the vaccine has reported any adverse reactions to it, besides the expected headache or muscle soreness.

Those who’ve already received their first dose have a second dose reserved and waiting for them.

“We encourage providers to schedule second doses at the time of first doses so people knew that they had to come back, and then also, everyone is getting an immunization record card that will tell them when they’re due for their second dose,” she says.

Moving forward, the state will receive more doses weekly to be allocated as it moves through different priority groups.

That’s where things can get a bit more complicated.

“We know where our health care workers are and we know where our long term care residents are,” Howell explains. “I think it’s going to get a little trickier when we start moving into other priority groups or other phases and figuring out who’s going to be responsible for vaccinating the elderly or essential workers or people with underlying health conditions and actually notifying those individuals that vaccine is available for their priority group.” 

She says notifications the state is moving through different phases will come through social media and press releases.

Local public health organizations will also play a role in notifying people when it’s their turn.

Howell hopes North Dakotans will get their information surrounding the vaccine from reputable sources.

“There’s just too many myths on the internet and too much incorrect information. And so, I understand why people are hesitant about this vaccine. It is something new, but I feel like as people learn more about the vaccine and how large the clinical trials were, I think they’ll be more comfortable to accept the vaccine in the future.”

Those at the North Dakota Department of Health hope 70% of all North Dakotans will be vaccinated by summertime. 

Categories: Coronavirus, Coronavirus-ND, Health, Local News, North Dakota News