COVID-19 vaccinations for elderly begins at Sanford

Corrine Bakken, 92, receives her first COVID-19 vaccination.
Corrine Bakken, 92, receives her first COVID-19 vaccination.(KVLY)
Published: Jan. 14, 2021 at 5:30 PM CST
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - Just one month after the first COVID-19 vaccine in North Dakota was given, today marks a new chapter of hope in the fight against the Coronavirus as Sanford Health administered the first doses to the public, starting with those 75 and older.

“I think it’s wonderful!” Barbara Lebus, 90, said.

“It was great! I’m happy that I got the shot. I’m just ecstatic!” Corrine Bakken, 92, said.

Bakken says after a discouraging last 10 months, today* is a day of celebration and accomplishment for both North Dakota and the nation.

“We have the most wonderful scientists in our country. We are America and everyone helps to take care of each other. We will get through this and I’m so thankful to have gotten the shot,” she said.

The coronavirus pandemic forced Bakken to retire from her position at West Fargo Schools, where she dedicated her time for 27 years.

“That was very hard to do. I miss my children. They were special,” Bakken said.

However, Bakken says she thinks she will go back to help with substitute numbers once she has her second dose.

Like Bakken, Lebus, as well as Jean and Erwin Beilke say while life isn’t going to go back to normal right away, they hope they can spend more time with family soon.

“You don’t get to see your great-grand children or any of them. We didn’t get to have Easter or any of the special days, Christmas, any of that. It’s been hard,” Bakken said.

All four tell Valley News Live they hope the rest of the community follows suit in the coming months.

“Anyone that is listening, please take yours when you can have it,” Bakken said.

“You might help somebody else if you don’t help yourself,” Erwin Beilke said.

Despite the CDC’s new push for states to start vaccinating those 65 and older, Sanford Health says they are focusing their efforts on high-risk patients over 75-until they receive more shipments of the two vaccines.

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