COVID vaccine

Beds, Staff at Duluth Hospitals Stretched Thin Under St. Louis County’s COVID Surge

COVID patients take up 59 of the hospital beds at Essentia St. Mary's Medical Center -- the highest they've seen since last winter. At St. Luke's, 25% of the ICU beds are filled with COVID patients.

DULUTH, Minn.- St. Louis County continues to see an uptick of COVID-19 cases, while the country overall is seeing a dip. The surge is continuing to fatigue health systems according to experts, as they urge more to get vaccinated and mask up. “Now, while much of the country experiences a decrease in COVID transmission following the latest peak, there’s some…

Northland Health Experts Warn of ‘Severe’ Flu Season to Come, On Top of Pandemic

The shadow looming over all this, according to experts, is the stress healthcare systems nationwide are already under.

DULUTH, Minn.- According to Northland health experts, the outlook for this year’s flu season is not good, as they prepare for a one-two punch of the flu and the ongoing COVID-19 surge. “A lot of people are back out doing their normal activities, we’re not in quarantine so those factors will play a role in what could be a severe…

St. Luke’s Employees Booster Up; Eligible Public Starts Tuesday

People over 65, adults with certain underlying medical health conditions, and those who work in environments with increased risk of COVID-19 are eligible for booster shots.

DULUTH, Minn.- Pfizer booster shots have begun going into the arms of healthcare workers in the Northland, as eligible members of the public start getting those shots Tuesday. “I think it’s really a great step, it’s gonna help with everything that’s coming this winter and it’s just gonna help keep our community that much safer,” said Kelly Zapp, St. Luke’s…

FDA Authorizes Additional Vaccine Doses for Some Immunocompromised People

The Authorization Would Impact Roughly Three Percent of the U.S. Population

DULUTH, Minn. – Those with organ transplants, a cancer diagnosis, or an immune disorder could be the first people to receive a third shot of the COVID-19 vaccine. This, after U.S. health regulators have authorized an extra dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines in people with weakened immune systems to better protect them from the virus. “After two shots,…

Healthcare Workers Among Rally Against Vaccine Mandates Days after St. Luke’s, Essentia Announce Policies

Earlier in the week, St. Louis County Public Health pointed to those who still aren't vaccinated for the recent surge in community spread.

DULUTH, Minn.- Dozens of protesters from across the Northland, including several area healthcare workers, held a rally against COVID-19 vaccine mandates Saturday just days after Duluth hospitals announced new vaccine requirements, and as experts warn the country needs to boost vaccine numbers now more than ever. “This is an anti-mandate rally. I think we have people here that believe in…

St. Louis County Recommends Masks Indoors Again, Blames Unvaccinated for COVID Spike

Meanwhile UMD is requiring masks for all indoor buildings.

DULUTH, Minn.- Masks are making a comeback, with some Northland businesses and even UMD requiring them in their buildings. Now St. Louis County Public Health leaders are recommending everyone mask up indoors vaccinated or not — pointing to those who still haven’t gotten the COVID shot for the surge in community spread. “It’s frustrating. It’s unfortunate,” said Amy Westbrook, Public…

St. Louis County, DTA Open Vaccine Clinic at Downtown Transit Center

Health officials hoped to bring the shots to more people, and answer questions to help stop any vaccine hesitancy.

DULUTH, Minn.- On Tuesday and Wednesday Duluthians could not only catch a bus at the Duluth Downtown Transit Center — but also get a COVID vaccine there if they wanted. St. Louis County partnered up with the Duluth Transit Authority to open up a clinic at the DTC, the latest in their vaccine outreach efforts. Health officials say they have…

CVS Health, Goodrich Join Pharmacies Administering Vaccine

Three CVS in-store pharmacies at Target stores in Duluth, Rochester and Eden Prairie will receive 3,510 vaccine doses this week.

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – CVS Health and Goodrich Pharmacy have been added to the expanding network of pharmacies vaccinating Minnesotans across the state. Three CVS in-store pharmacies at Target stores in Duluth, Rochester and Eden Prairie will receive 3,510 vaccine doses this week. The announcement Saturday by Gov. Tim Walz means Minnesota now has five pharmacies with dozens of…

Gov. Walz: 1 Million Vaccinated in Minnesota, on Anniversary of State’s First COVID-19 Case

Additionally, he announced that nearly 55% of Minnesota’s educators, school staff, and child care providers have gotten a shot.

DULUTH, Minn.- The State of Minnesota reached a new milestone in vaccinations, as Governor Tim Walz announced one million Minnesotans have been vaccinated Saturday, the one-year anniversary of the first case of COVID-19 appearing in the state. Gov. Walz shared the news on his Facebook page Saturday. Today, exactly one year after Minnesota’s first confirmed case of COVID-19, we reached…

Johnson & Johnson’s 1-Dose Shot Cleared, Giving US 3rd COVID-19 Vaccine

One dose was 85% protective against the most severe COVID-19 illness, in a massive study that spanned three continents.

WASHINGTON (AP) – The U.S. now has a third vaccine to prevent COVID-19. The Food and Drug Administration on Saturday cleared a Johnson & Johnson shot that works with just one dose instead of two. Health experts have anxiously awaited a one-and-done option to help speed vaccinations. The virus has already killed more than 510,000 people in the U.S. and…

Health Equity Groups Work to Vaccinate Northland’s Black, Indigenous, People of Color

According to the CDC, many racial and ethnic minority groups can face economic, social, and geographical barriers to healthcare, and therefore COVID Vaccines.

DULUTH, Minn.- As vaccine supplies and vaccination initiatives increase throughout the country and the Northland, efforts have started zeroing in on helping racial and ethnic communities disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. According to the CDC, many racial and ethnic minority groups can face economic, social, and geographical barriers to healthcare such as difficulties finding affordable and quality housing and health…

St. Luke’s Processing Thousands of Vaccine Doses to Ship Out Statewide

The hospital is one of the medical facilities designated as hubs, shipping to five different smaller "spokes" across the state.

DULUTH, Minn.- St. Luke’s in Duluth is sharing how they process their vaccine shipments. The hospital is one of the medical facilities designated as hubs, shipping to five different smaller “spokes” across the state. St. Luke’s processes 1,120 doses per flat of vaccines, stored at negative 60 to negative 80 degrees Celsius. Pharmaceutical staff at St. Luke’s says it’s a…

MDH Postpones Sunday Vaccine Appointments at DECC; Winter Storms Delay Shipments

A spokesperson with the Minnesota Department of Health said the winter storms have delayed the Federal Government's ability to ship at least part of this week's COVID-19 vaccine doses to Minnesota. 

  DULUTH, Minn.- The severe winter weather across other parts of the country has once again delayed  COVID vaccine appointments at the DECC and other sites in the state Sunday. A spokesperson with the Minnesota Department of Health said the winter storms have delayed the Federal Government’s ability to ship at least part of this week’s COVID-19 vaccine doses to…

Free Mobile COVID-19 Testing Sites Aim to Increase Accessibility Throughout Duluth

A mobile testing trailer will be in different Duluth neighborhoods twice a week throughout February.

DULUTH, Minn.- More opportunities to get tested for COVID-19 for free will be popping up around Duluth, part of St. Louis County Public Health’s plan to make testing more accessible for people who may have trouble getting to the DECC. Public Health Mobile Sites/Trailers will be at the following locations throughout the month: Wednesday, February 3, 10 a.m. to 2…

Duluth, Proctor Superintendents Disappointed in Slow Federal Vaccine Rollout

Duluth School District is only getting 32 vaccines to start, and Proctor is only getting 10.

DULUTH/PROCTOR, Minn.- While Gov. Tim Walz announced Monday the state will open up vaccines to the elderly, education and child care workers in the coming weeks, Northland school leaders said they feel disheartened that the vaccines they’re getting to start barely scratch the surface. “Quite honestly I was really hopeful that it would be broader,” said Duluth Schools Superintendent John…

Minnesota Dept. of Health Launches COVID-19 Vaccine Dashboard

The website shows more than 144,000 people have received at least one dose of the vaccine as of Saturday, and more than 7,000 who already got the second dose.

MINNESOTA- The Minnesota Department of Health has launched an online dashboard, to stay up to date on the state’s vaccination rollout. The website shows more than 144,000 people have received at least one dose of the vaccine as of Saturday, and more than 7,000 who already got the second dose. It will be updated daily. “It provides Minnesotans with confidence…

Gov. Evers, Health Officials Ask for Patience During Wisconsin Vaccine Distribution

Health officials said the demand is going to exceed the supply for a while.

MADISON, Wis.- The Wisconsin Governor and health leaders addressed obstacles and delays in the state’s vaccine distribution Tuesday. So far 85,609 vaccines have been administered and as of Monday 266,675 doses had been shipped to Wisconsin. According to health officials, the demand is going to exceed the supply for a while. Gov. Tony Evers emphasized that focus should not divert…

Wisconsin Health Leaders Explain Vaccine Distribution as State Gets First Shipment

Meanwhile, the spread of the virus isn't slowing down in the state. 

MADISON, Wis.- Wisconsin received 10,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine Monday, with about 35,000 more doses expected by the end of the week. The first rounds are going to frontline healthcare workers and to nursing home residents in a couple weeks. The general public will not have access to the vaccine for months as the state deploys this historic rollout…

Gov Walz: ‘The end of COVID is out there’ with Vaccine Rollout Likely Next Week

If approved, the state would receive 46,800 shots from Pfizer by next week.

ST. PAUL, Minn.- Minnesota Governor Tim Walz unveiled the state’s plan for getting Minnesotans vaccinated against coronavirus, some as soon as the coming weeks. “This day is real, it’s happening, it is really here. In Minnesota, we’re prepared for it,” said the Governor in a press conference Tuesday. “We are on the doorstep of starting this.” According to the Minnesota…

Gov. Evers Asks Wisconsin for Caution Over Holidays As COVID-19 Surge Continues

Wisconsin is getting close to having 420,000 total cases since March with 3,800 deaths.

MADISON, Wis.- Wisconsin will get 50,000 vaccines to start once it’s approved and will first go to long-term care facility residents and healthcare workers. Governor Evers said in a virtual briefing Tuesday that even through the United States is closer to approving the vaccine, there’s no backing away from all the precautions we still need to take to keep ourselves,…

Wisconsin Health Officials Discuss How COVID-19 Vaccine Will Be Distributed

WI DHS stressed the safety of the vaccines, and how long they still have to go before reaching the public.

MADISON, Wis.- In Wisconsin Monday, health experts held a news conference answering COVID-19 vaccine questions. They say of the two vaccines awaiting FDA approval, Pfizer’s would require cold storage at -70°C±10°C for up to 10 days unopened in the state’s Healthcare Emergency Response Coalition (HERC) regions before going to clinics. Moderna’s, which does not require cold storage, would go directly to…