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Where you stand on North Dakota’s COVID-19 vaccine priority list

Published: Jan. 4, 2021 at 6:09 PM CST
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - Those with the highest priority have already received their first COVID-19 vaccine, and many are wondering who’s next. The State Health Department has finalized the lists for the next two phases of vaccine priority groups.

Now that frontline healthcare workers and long-term care residents and staff are nearing the end of their initial vaccination period, state health officials are looking at the next priority group. They said the next group could start being vaccinated as soon as two weeks from now.

Healthcare workers have been receiving their COVID-19 vaccines for nearly a month and the state is running through their vaccine supply quickly. But that doesn’t necessarily mean demand is high from people who want it.

“We’re hearing mixed uptake. It’s varying by facility, from facility to facility,” said State Immunization Program Manager Molly Howell.

Many North Dakotans are still wondering who exactly will be vaccinated next. The Vaccine Ethics Committee said the first vaccines will be given to those 75 or older, next will be those 65-74 years old with two or more high-risk medical conditions. Staff and people residing in congregate living will receive the vaccine third, followed by people 65 years of age or older with one medical condition, anyone 65 years or older, and anyone with two or more medical conditions regardless of age.

Rounding out the priority list are child care workers and employees of preschools and Kindergarten through 12th grade.

“This committee really has prioritized preventing deaths and hospitalizations over maintaining critical infrastructure,” said Howell.

The next group to be vaccinated is more focused on essential workers: National Guard members, grocery workers, 911 operators, vaccine manufacturing workers, healthcare and public health employees who weren’t vaccinated in the first phase, clinical laundries, transit workers, people ages16 to 64 with one or more high-risk conditions, blood bank workers, IT departments, and finally all other essential workers.

“The very end says all other essential workers who are unable to work from home,” said Howell.

Immunization leaders said they’ve been consistently receiving about 10,000 vaccines per week, with a similar number of both Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. However, the number of vaccines being shipped to the state is fluid. State health officials said they’re unsure when the 1C priority group will be vaccinated because the 1B group is fairly large. After everyone in Phase One is offered a vaccine, the general public will be offered the vaccine in the next phase.

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