24-hour check-in on first Valley healthcare workers to get vaccine, what’s next

Published: Dec. 15, 2020 at 5:10 PM CST
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) -

We have hit the 24-hour mark since hundreds of healthcare workers got the COVID-19 vaccine here in the Valley. But now, your questions linger as far as what is next for the general public.

“I feel great,” said Dr. Avish Nagpal with Sanford Infectious Disease and Medical Director Infection Prevention and Control. “No major side effects, just a little soreness in the arm, very mild.”

Dr. Avish Nagpal, the first to get the COVID-19 vaccine in North Dakota, said the shot didn’t stop him from his usual activities Tuesday. He’s reporting no fever or fatigue. So far, his colleagues said the same thing.

“I didn’t have any side effects,” said Melanie Allen, Sanford Clinical Care Leader RN. “I have a little tenderness in this spot, but other than that, nothing.”

Sanford Clinical Care Leader RN Melanie Allen said her experience working with COVID patients the last nine months has been its own beast.

“I can’t compare anything else that I’ve done in the last seven years at Sanford or 15 years as a nurse,” said Allen. “It’s been a long nine months. Some days better than others. We’ve had a few victories and sadly, a lot of losses. It makes you appreciate the things you have when you have them.”

Allen added she’s fortunate to be one of the first to get vaccinated and hopes you’ll take her advice when you’re next in line.

“I didn’t feel anything bad from it, so I feel reassured in being able to tell people that they should go ahead and get it too,” said Allen.

Sanford said there’s more to come as it will be through 2021 before the general public can get the vaccine.

For now, the health department is helping the hospital get a consistent weekly supply of vaccines, letting employees know by email who’s next in line.

Criteria for getting the vaccine are different depending on what side of the river you’re on.

Dr. Doug Griffin with Sanford said Minnesota wanted to pause to allow for education to not vaccinate for five to seven days.

“I’m hearing that they might change that and allow some vaccines to go forward later this week,” said Dr. Doug Griffin, Sanford Vice President. “We actually need to be very careful about this that we vaccinate people working in our North Dakota facilities.”

Sanford said Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine should be here next week, and they should have all their employees vaccinated by the end of the month.

We reached out to Essentia, and they say they’ll have a timeline for vaccine rollout soon.

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