Knute Nelson Care Center in Alexandria began staff and resident vaccinations for COVID-19 on Wednesday, Dec. 30.

The Moderna vaccine, recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration for emergency use, was administered at the Knute Nelson Care Center campus by a Walgreens pharmacist.

“We are so appreciative for the support and cooperation of our residents, families, staff and community over these past nine months,” said Angie Urman, chief operating officer and senior vice president at Knute Nelson. “This vaccine gives us hope for a new chapter in our fight against this invisible virus.”

The Minnesota Department of Health is using a phased approach to prioritize vulnerable populations. Long term care residents and staff are in the first priority group. Residents and staff of senior living communities, such as Grand Arbor and Nelson Gables by Knute Nelson, anticipate getting the vaccine in mid-January contingent upon supply. The state health department is following a phased-in approach for distributing the vaccine.

Knute Nelson will continue infection prevention and control practices, while following the most current visitation guidance from the state, even after vaccinations are administered, according to Urman.

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For more information, go to Knute Nelson, a 501c3 non-profit, faith-based corporation, offers senior housing and health care, and a full family of services to the West Central Minnesota region. The Knute Nelson Care Center at 420 12th Ave. E. provides around-the-clock health care and daily living assistance for older adults, both long- and short-term.

As of Dec. 30, the Minnesota Department of Health reported that 297,350 doses of vaccine has been allocated to Minnesota registered provider sites. (The number of doses received only includes doses allocated to the state of Minnesota. It does not include doses that are allocated through federal partnerships.)

A total of 169,650 doses from Pfizer and 127,700 from Moderna have been distributed.