• By Deb Balzer

Hope arrives at Mayo Clinic locations as COVID-19 vaccinations begin

December 18, 2020
two vials of COVID-19 vaccine sitting on a medical tray next to two syringes

UPDATE 12/21/2020:

Mayo Clinic Health System is vaccinating Southeast Minnesota Region staff with the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine beginning the week of Monday, Dec. 21. Albert Lea and Cannon Falls were the first two locations that began administering vaccines to employees on Monday.

Albert Lea Family medicine Dr. Joshua Foong, D.O., receiving his COIVd-19 vaccine
Joshua Foong, D.O., Family Medicine at Mayo Clinic Health System in Albert Lea, receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.
Dr. Betzalel Reich, Mayo Clinic Health System Emergency Dept. physician receiving his COVID-19 vaccine
Betzalel Reich, M.D., Emergency Dept. at Mayo Clinic Health System in Albert Lea, receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.

"We are so excited to see the hard work and devotion of our teams paying off, and even more excited to see the vaccine coming to our friends, neighbors and colleagues as we hope for an end to this pandemic locally and worldwide," says Robert Albright Jr., D.O., regional vice president, Southeast Minnesota Region, Mayo Clinic Health System.     

Mayo Clinic Health System Cannon Falls employee Leah Lindbeck, D.N.P. receiving her COVID-19 vaccine
Leah Lindbeck, D.N.P., nurse practitioner, receiving first COVID-19 vaccine at Mayo Clinic Health System in Cannon Falls.
Scott Benson, M.D., Ph.D., Family Medicine physician at Mayo Clinic Health System in Cannon Falls, receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.

Journalists: Broadcast-quality b-roll of Mayo Clinic Health System employees being vaccinated in Albert Lea is in the downloads at the end of this post. Please courtesy, "Mayo Clinic News Network."   

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The first COVID-19 vaccination at Mayo Clinic Health System in Mankato, Minnesota was given to a front-line staff member on Monday, Dec. 21. Brittan Carsten, R.N., administered the vaccine to Justin Legred, a charge nurse in the Progressive Care Unit, prompting a room full of staff to applaud. More than 190 COVID-19 vaccines were scheduled to be administered to staff Monday, with hundreds more scheduled the rest of the week.  

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UPDATE 12/18/2020:

Around 250 Mayo Clinic staff members in Rochester received vaccinations for COVID-19 on Friday. Among the first to get vaccinated was a team of five health care staff members who responded to the first suspected case of COVID-19 in Rochester, and an emergency medicine physician who, in March, diagnosed the first patient who was COVID-19-positive at Mayo Clinic in Rochester. As a group of people that was there from the very beginning of the pandemic, it was only fitting that they all received their vaccinations simultaneously, as a team.

Dr. Amy Williams, executive dean of practice for Mayo Clinic, and Mary Jo Williamson, vice chair of Mayo Clinic Administration, were there to provide support, thank the staff, and even provided a countdown to the first vaccinations.

Abigail Carter, RN, receives COVID-19 vaccine in Rochester

Watch: Mayo Clinic Rochester staff receive vaccinations.

Journalists: Broadcast-quality b-roll of the staff receiving the COVID-19 vaccine at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, is available in the downloads at the end of the post. Please courtesy, "Rochester, Minnesota / Mayo Clinic News Network.

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The first COVID-19 vaccinations for Mayo Clinic employees began Thurs. Dec. 17, 2020, and preparations for additional employee vaccinations are underway.

The first Mayo Clinic staff members eligible to be vaccinated for COVID-19 are those working regularly in designated inpatient COVID-19 units, the Emergency Department, emergency medical services, long-term care and the morgue.

a Mayo Clinic in Florida nurse, a Black woman in PPE administering a COVID-19 vaccine to a Mayo employee, perhaps a Latina woman in a black jacket getting her vaccination
Mayo Clinic in Florida employee receives COVID-19 vaccine.

Mayo Clinic leaders emphasize these key points:

  • The vaccines have been approved for safe use.
  • Vaccine distribution will occur in phases, with those at highest risk in the earliest phases.
  • Mayo Clinic will continue to coordinate with state and local governments on future vaccine distribution phases.

Health officials say that the vaccine is one step in controlling the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Continue to practice social distancing, wear a mask properly outside your home, wash your hands frequently, and follow your state and local recommendations until the spread has stopped.

Kniely Maxwell, an Emergency Department registered nurse, was the first Mayo Clinic employee to receive the COVID-19 vaccination Thursday morning, Dec. 17, at Mayo Clinic in Florida.

Watch: First employee at Mayo Clinic receives COVID-19 vaccine in Florida.

Journalists: Broadcast-quality b-roll of Mayo Clinic employees in Florida receiving the COVID-19 vaccine is in available in the downloads at the end of the post. Please courtesy, "Jacksonville, Florida / Mayo Clinic News Network."

closeup of a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine vial sitting on a medical table

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At Mayo Clinic in Rochester, the first shipment of vaccines developed in the fight against COVID-19 has arrived. A team was on hand as 2,925 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine were delivered. The first shipment of vaccines arrived in three boxes of 975 doses, each at a temperature between minus 80 degrees Celsius and minus 60 degrees Celsius (minus 112 degrees Fahrenheit to minus 76 degrees Fahrenheit), in a thermal shipping container with dry ice. They were quickly transported to an ultracold freezer for safe storage.

The first Mayo Clinic employees in Rochester will receive COVID-19 vaccinations on Friday morning, Dec. 18.

Watch: Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine arrives at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota

Journalists: Broadcast-quality b-roll of the COVID-19 vaccine arriving at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, is available in the downloads at the end of the post. Please courtesy, "Rochester, Minnesota / Mayo Clinic News Network."

Dr. Andrew Badley, an infectious diseases physician at Mayo Clinic and head of Mayo Clinic's COVID-19 Research Task Force, says this is a remarkable moment.

Watch: Dr. Andrew Badley discusses the COVID-19 vaccine.

Journalists: A broadcast-quality sound bite with Dr. Badley is available in the downloads at the end of the post. Please courtesy: "Andrew Badley, M.D./COVID-19 Research Task Force/Mayo Clinic."

"It's remarkable. If you think about it, this time last year we were only beginning to hear about this virus," says Dr. Badley. "Now, within a year's period of time, we have a vaccine that has been developed, tested, shown to be effective, shown to be safe. And now it's going for widespread, widespread distribution. It’s truly a remarkable accomplishment, and we're very happy to be receiving it here at Mayo."

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Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, provided the first vaccinations for employees on that campus on Thursday morning, Dec. 17.

Watch: COVID-19 vaccine administered at Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

Journalists: Broadcast-quality b-roll of employees at Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, receiving the COVID-19 vaccine is available in the downloads at the end of the post. Please courtesy, "Eau Claire, Wisconsin / Mayo Clinic News Network."

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Mayo Clinic Dr. Alyssa Chapital wearing a face mask, in her car getting the COVID-19 vaccine at Honor Health
Mayo Clinic's Dr. Alyssa Chapital receiving her COVID-19 vaccine at Honor Health in Arizona.

On Thursday morning, Dec. 17, Honor Health, in partnership with Mayo Clinic, the Maricopa County Department of Public Health and the City of Scottsdale Emergency Services, began administering COVID-19 vaccine to health care workers and first responders in the Northeast Valley in Phoenix, Arizona.

Watch: Mayo Clinic employees in Arizona receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

Journalists: Broadcast-quality b-roll of Mayo Clinic employees in Arizona receiving the COVID-19 vaccine is in available in the downloads at the end of the post. Please courtesy, "Mayo Clinic Arizona / Mayo Clinic News Network."

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Information in this report was accurate at the time of posting. Due to the fluid nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, scientific understanding, along with guidelines and recommendations, may have changed since the original publication date

For the safety of its patients, staff and visitors, Mayo Clinic has strict masking policies in place. Anyone shown without a mask was recorded prior to COVID-19 or in an area not designated for patient care, where social distancing and other safety protocols were followed.

For more information and all your COVID-19 coverage, go to the Mayo Clinic News Network and mayoclinic.org.

Learn more about: Tracking and trending COVID-19

Dec. 17, 2020 - NEW Mayo Clinic COVID-19 trending map using red color tones for hot spots
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