More than 300 frontline healthcare workers and staff at Mankato Clinic were vaccinated for COVID-19 this week.
Providers and healthcare workers in the respiratory clinics, and those who treat patients at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 were prioritized to receive the vaccine first. That also included maintenance and housekeeping staff from the respiratory clinic, says Mankato Clinic.
Dr. Katie Smentek, a lead COVID-19 physician, received her first dose of the vaccine Wednesday. Smentek told SMN being vaccinated felt like the beginning of the end of the virus.
“It’s not necessarily going to change our day-to-day activity,” Smentek said. “We’re still going to be masking, we’re still going to be social distancing, but it just gives you that little peace of mind that things are going to be getting better.”
The South Central Healthcare Coalition and local public health departments coordinate vaccine distribution for the region along with the Minnesota Department of Health.
Vaccines are not available to the general public yet. Mankato Clinic will notify patients and post information as vaccines become available.