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Resources about the COVID-19 Vaccine

Vaccines for Youth

  • For some immunocompromised children aged 5–11 years old, CDC now recommends an additional dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to complete the primary series – a total of three doses. See media statement | Spanish.
  • CDC now recommends booster shots at 5 months after the completion of the primary series of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for those aged 12 and older. See media statement.

You can also visit mn.gov/vaxforkids to find other clinic or pharmacy locations near you. If you have questions about vaccines, your pediatrician or family physician can be an excellent source of information and you can also get more information from the Minnesota Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Vaccine Appointments

We are now offering vaccines at provider visits and occasional vaccine clinic dates. Please call our appointment line to inquire or set an appointment: 218.739.2221.

For other vaccination options, check with Otter Tail County Public Health for their vaccine availability online here or by calling the Otter Tail County Public Health Information Line at 218-998-8378 or toll free at 833-445-1578. Local pharmacy contact information for vaccines is also available on the public health website. You can search for vaccine locations near you at this website: https://mn.gov/covid19/vaccine/find-vaccine/locations/index.jsp

Please call for an appointment and consider getting your flu vaccine at the same time!

Vaccine & Current COVID Status FAQ

What is the latest on recommended quarantine and isolation timelines?

The CDC recently (December 27, 2021) updated and shortened the recommended isolation and quarantine period.

You can read more and access a handy chart at this link.

The change is aimed at people who are not experiencing symptoms. People with symptoms during isolation, or who develop symptoms during quarantine, are encouraged to stay home. The new CDC guidance is not a mandate; it's a recommendation to employers and state and local officials.

Summary

Given what we currently know about COVID-19 and the Omicron variant, CDC has shortened the recommended time for isolation from 10 days for people with COVID-19 to 5 days, if asymptomatic, followed by 5 days of wearing a mask when around others. The change is motivated by science demonstrating that the majority of SARS-CoV-2 transmission occurs early in the course of illness, generally in the 1-2 days prior to onset of symptoms and the 2-3 days after. Therefore, people who test positive should isolate for 5 days and, if asymptomatic at that time, they may leave isolation if they can continue to mask for 5 days to minimize the risk of infecting others.

Additionally, CDC updated the recommended quarantine period for those exposed to COVID-19. For people who are unvaccinated or are more than six months out from their second mRNA dose (or more than 2 months after the J&J vaccine) and not yet boosted, CDC now recommends quarantine for 5 days followed by strict mask use for an additional 5 days. Alternatively, if a 5-day quarantine is not feasible, it is imperative that an exposed person wear a well-fitting mask at all times when around others for 10 days after exposure. Individuals who have received their booster shot do not need to quarantine following an exposure, but should wear a mask for 10 days after the exposure. For all those exposed, best practice would also include a test for SARS-CoV-2 at day 5 after exposure. If symptoms occur, individuals should immediately quarantine until a negative test confirms symptoms are not attributable to COVID-19.

As has happened throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, officials have been following the science and updating public health recommendations to best reflect the current state of the pandemic. Taking steps to prevent spread of COVID-19 remains important so we can reduce severe illnesses and deaths and protect our health care system. We continue to recommend that people get vaccinated, get a booster when eligible, wear masks in indoor public places, get tested when recommended, wash hands frequently, and stay home when sick.

Further Breakdown of Current Guidance

Per CDC Guidance:

ISOLATION

The isolation rules are for people who are infected. They are the same for people who are unvaccinated, partly vaccinated, fully vaccinated or boosted.

  • The clock starts the day you test positive.
  • An infected person should go into isolation for five days, instead of the previously recommended 10.
  • At the end of five days, if you have no symptoms, you can return to normal activities but must wear a mask everywhere — even at home around others — for at least five more days.
  • If you still have symptoms after isolating for five days, stay home until you feel better and then start your five days of wearing a mask at all times.

QUARANTINE

The quarantine rules are for people who were in close contact with an infected person but not infected themselves.

  • The clock starts the day someone is alerted they may have been exposed to the virus.
  • People who got booster shots can skip quarantine if they wear masks in all settings for at least 10 days.
  • People who got their initial shots but not boosters are in the same situation as those who are partly vaccinated or are not vaccinated at all: They can stop quarantine after five days if they wear masks in all settings for five days afterward.

What can you tell me about the Omicron Variant?

  • Omicron has been detected in most states and territories and is rapidly increasing the proportion of COVID-19 cases it is causing. The Omicron variant likely will spread more easily than the original SARS-CoV-2 virus and how easily Omicron spreads compared to Delta remains unknown. CDC expects that anyone with Omicron infection can spread the virus to others, even if they are vaccinated or don’t have symptoms. Current vaccines are expected to protect against severe illness, hospitalizations, and deaths due to infection with the Omicron variant. However, breakthrough infections in people who are fully vaccinated are likely to occur. With other variants, like Delta, vaccines have remained effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalizations, and death. The recent emergence of Omicron further emphasizes the importance of vaccination and boosters.
  • If you have more questions, public health is a great resource. You can reach Otter Tail County Public Health at 218-998-8320 or visit their website https://ottertailcountymn.us/content-page/covid-19-situation-update/

How do I get a mAb (monoclonal antibody) treatment?

COVID-19 medication, called monoclonal antibodies or mAbs, can help people fight their illness. The Omicron variant has induced dramatic change to the procedures for COVID-19 mAbs in Minnesota. Only one COVID-19 mAb is known to retain activity against Omicron. Because of this, the Minnesota Department of Health has directed exclusive use of sotrovimab as of December 20, 2021. Supply of sotrovimab is very limited.

To ensure equitable access to COVID-19 monoclonal antibody therapy, referrals are managed through the Minnesota Resource Allocation Platform, or MNRAP. This is a tool that screens patients and, if eligible, sends the patient or caregiver's contact information to a site registered to provide COVID-19 monoclonal antibodies. You can access this tool at this link.
If you are already registered in MNRAP, please allow at least 24 business hours for the site to contact you. If it has been over 24 hours, please contact the site selected during MNRAP entry as only that site will have access to your referral. Additional questions may be addressed with your primary healthcare provider.
More information is also available from the Minnesota Department of Health website here.

Who can or should get a COVID booster shot?

The timing of your booster shot depends on the vaccine you received for your initial vaccine series and your age.

  • For some immunocompromised children aged 5–11 years old, CDC now recommends an additional dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to complete the primary series – a total of three doses. See media statement | Spanish.
  • CDC now recommends booster shots at 5 months after the completion of the primary series of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for those aged 12 and older. See media statement.

You can read more about boosters on the CDC website here.

Where and how can I get a COVID test?

  • Due to a current uptick in illness in our area, we are currently offering COVID swab testing in our drive thru and patient care department only for those that are ill, experiencing symptoms or have been exposed. Call the appointment line for appointments with providers or the drive-thru, or visit our Walk-In-Clinic. Please note these tests are sent out to the Mayo clinic and are not rapid tests. If you are in need of testing for travel or extra curricular school or family activities, we encourage you to utilize one of the options below.
    • MDH has a testing site in Moorhead Monday-Thursday from 11am-6pm at the former Thomas Edison Elementary School. You can sign up online for an appt time at https://mncovidtestingappt.as.me/schedule.php
    • MDH also offers a test at home option through Vault. To order an at-home test at no cost visit https://learn.vaulthealth.com/state-of-minnesota/
    • Walgreens (and potentially other pharmacies) has free testing available in Fergus Falls utilizing the same rapid test LRH uses. To make an appt visit their website at https://walgreens.com
    • Antigen tests can be purchased over the counter at local pharmacies.
    • Otter Tail County Public Health offers COVID-19 testing and you Can find the details on types of tests and dates on the site Otter Tail County Testing Information. Appointments are preferred and can be made on their website, but walk ins are welcome.

    • Testing options in the Horizon Public Health five-county area can be found here.

I want to get a vaccine. What are my options?

How much does the vaccine cost?

The COVID-19 vaccine is being provided at no cost. We will ask for insurance information to submit an administration fee to your insurance company if applicable. If insurance does not cover this fee, it will not be passed on to you.

Can you answer my questions about if the vaccine is safe for me?

The American Hospital Association has a resource that answers many of the frequent concerns we hear about the vaccine. It can be found at https://www.aha.org/vaccine.

Several of our providers have offered some video comments regarding vaccine safety and efficacy as well. Those can be viewed on our website here.

Can I get a COVID vaccine at the same time as other vaccines?

  • You can get a COVID-19 vaccine and other vaccines at the same visit. You no longer need to wait 14 days between vaccinations. Experience with other vaccines has shown that the way our bodies develop protection, known as an immune response, after getting vaccinated and possible side effects of vaccines are generally the same when given alone or with other vaccines.
  • Learn more about the timing of other vaccines.

Eligibility

Anyone 5 years or older is eligible to receive the vaccine.

We recommend a parent or guardian accompany any minors to their appointment, or if this is not possible, that the minor comes to their vaccine appointment with a completed consent form.

Vaccine Appointment Reminders

  • Please note that only the Pfizer vaccine is approved for 5 to 17 year olds. Moderna's vaccine is only approved for people 18 and older.
  • A parent or guardian is requested to accompany minor patients. If this is not possible, minors should bring a completed consent form with them to their appointment.
  • You will be asked to schedule your second dose when you are scheduled your first shot. The second dose needs to be the same type of vaccine. For Pfizer vaccines, these second appointments are ideally scheduled 21 days after your first dose. For Moderna, the second appointments are scheduled 28 days after the first dose.
  • All vaccines are by appointment only, no walk-ins are accepted.
  • Do not arrive for your appointment more than 15 minutes early to help with social distancing.
  • A previous relationship with an LRH or PRH provider is not required and vaccine appointments are open to all people, regardless of insurance coverage or provider relationship.
  • You will be asked to complete this consent form prior to receiving your vaccine.
  • Depending on which vaccine you will be receiving, you may wish to read the appropriate fact sheet prior to arriving.

Q&A About the Vaccine

This vaccine, which has two doses, is critical in saving lives, stopping the spread of coronavirus, and ending the pandemic. You can learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine and its safety at the links below.

Answers to other common questions about the vaccine.

Roundtable Discussion about Vaccine FAQ's with LRH Providers & Experts

Provider Insights on Vaccine Safety & Efficacy

Dr. Bashir, Hospitalist Internal Medicine

Dr. Naomi Schmid, Chief Medical Officer

Renae Lien, Pharm D - Enterprise Pharmacy Director

Dr. Erin Peterson, Internal Medicine

Trusted Resources

CDC Vaccine Resources

MDH Vaccine Resources

Minnesota Vaccine Dashboard

Otter Tail County Public Health Vaccine Resources

Horizon Public Health Vaccine Resources (Grant, Stevens, Douglas, Pope & Traverse County)

FDA Vaccine Resources