1st COVID-19 vaccine doses ready in Minnesota, health officials urge continued diligence throughout state

Tuesday, some of the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine will be administered in Minnesota.

The shipments arrived Monday to the Minneapolis VA Health Care System, where the shots will be given this morning.

1st doses of COVID-19 vaccine arrive in Minnesota

As long as the plan in place runs smoothly, thousands will receive a vaccine as the state works to overcome the virus and save lives.

"It’s a huge relief for our staff, not have to worry as much,” Dr. Colleen Swank, with Sanford Health, said, adding that “when we have to get the vaccine, we still have to be careful.”

Minnesotans are asked to continue being careful, because the majority will not be able to get a vaccine for about six months.

Over the next few weeks, the state’s health care workers and those living in long-term care facilities will become vaccinated.

These vaccines are spread out across the state, including shipments making it to Olmstead County in southern Minnesota and northern Minnesota in Bemidji.

There are about 47,000 doses in this first round of vaccine shipments and roughly 100,000 more as the Moderna vaccine gets its anticipated approval.

In the meantime health officials say Minnesotans need to continue taking precautions.

"I think it’s important to keep in mind that even while people are getting vaccinated we will still need to maintain some of these mitigation efforts – such as masking, and social distancing,” Minnesota Department of Health Infectious Disease Director Kris Ehresmann said. “We know that the vaccine is very effective in preventing disease, we have less information on the roll that it plays in reducing infections or transmission.

Tuesday morning, 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS will share the moment as some of the first Minnesotans get the vaccine. There will also be an update from health officials about how the plan is taking shape and what happens next.

Stay with 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS and KSTP.com for updates.

KSTP’s complete COVID-19 coverage