St. Louis County Public Health hopes to move beyond vaccinations for Phase 1a by first of month:

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.

Public Health & Human Services Dept. • 320 West Second Street, Suite 605 • Duluth, MN 55802
Phone: (218) 726-2096 •

Linnea Mirsch




January 21, 2021

CONTACT: Dana Kazel, Communications Manager

218-725-5049 (office) • 218-591-2219 (cell)


St. Louis County Public Health hopes to move beyond vaccinations for Phase 1a by first of month

St. Louis County Public Health, along with area hospitals and pharmacies, continue to administer COVID-19 vaccines to those in the Phase 1a priority groups. The County is striving to have all individuals eligible for Phase 1a registered for a first dose of the vaccine by the end of January. Public Health asks that any employer whose staff qualifies for vaccines during the Priority 1a phase - who has not already been contacted by St. Louis County Public Health or by a hospital or pharmacy - to register online at by no later than January 25.


Those in Phase 1a Priority 1 or 2 include EMS-certified personnel, as well as staff in urgent care facilities or dialysis center, plus residents and staff of skilled nursing facilities, long term care and assisted living facilities. Additionally, late last week, MDH expanded its definition of eligible EMS personnel, so that it now includes those who provide direct patient care working in law enforcement, fire, ski patrol and mine safety.


Organizations that are categorized as Phase 1a Priority 3 include: adult foster care, ambulatory clinic, community residential setting, correctional setting, dental office, emergency shelter, funeral home, group home, home health care, intermediate care facility, mental/behavioral health setting, pharmacy, public health clinic, residential care facility. Other EMS personnel not already included in Priority 1 and school nurses also fall within this category. Phase 1a Priority 3 vaccinations are for staff at organizations in these categories who are unable to telework.


After that, St. Louis County Public Health and healthcare systems will be preparing to administer vaccines to the much broader categories in Phase 1b. Anyone in a Phase 1a priority group will still be able to receive a vaccine at a later date, however there is less certainty of when that would be an option due to continued limited availability of the vaccine.


"The vaccine rollout remains a challenge due to the extremely limited amount available," said Amy Westbrook, St. Louis County Public Health Division Director. "We remain encouraged to see the strong demand for the vaccine because every dose we administer moves us a step closer to putting this pandemic behind us."


St. Louis County is following the guidance of the Minnesota Department of Health in identifying priority groups. Local and state public health teams in Minnesota are working in coordination to ensure vaccine roll-out and distribution is as equitable as possible.


More information about the vaccine, including safety information and how it's being distributed, can be found on the MDH website. Additionally, St. Louis County has added a section to its website on frequently asked questions about the vaccine. The section also addresses some of the myths and misconceptions about the vaccine. A link to this can be found at