Winona Health urges patience in quest for COVID-19 vaccinations

WINONA, Minn. (WKBT) — As increasing numbers of people call Winona Health seeking information about when and where COVID-19 vaccines will be available, the facility issued a statement encouraging patients to be patient.
Winona Health is following the guidelines and priority phases for administering vaccines of the Minnesota Department of Health and federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“The vaccine is still in short supply, and as more becomes available, everyone who wants the vaccine will have an opportunity to get vaccinated,” the statement says.
“Many community members are calling and we want to keep them informed as well as we can,” said Rachelle Schultz, Winona Health’s president/CEO.
“The state health department recently changed the vaccine distribution process and small/mid-sized healthcare organizations were put on a ‘randomized’ schedule,” Schultz said.
“We, like other healthcare organizations around the state — not including the 10 large Minnesota healthcare systems — are on a list and will take turns receiving vaccines as they become available,” she said.
“We anticipate this process changing again when vaccines become more readily available,” Schultz said.
When more vaccine arrives, it will be given to patients age 75 or older — some of whom are in the vaccination process — and those age 65 and older with chronic kidney disease, COPD, congestive heart failure, obesity and uncontrolled diabetes, the statement says.
When additional vaccine is available, Winona Health anticipates opening vaccinations to the broader community. Notification will occur through patients’ My Winona Health online portal or by phone.
Winona Health advises people to follow these steps to prepare for vaccination:
• Set up a My Winona Health account at the health facility’s website winonahealth.org/mywh.
• Those who already have and are using a My Winona Health account will be notified when more vaccine is available and it’s their time to schedule an appointment.
• Please be patient as Winona Health works with the state and local health departments to obtain more vaccine.
For COVID-19 vaccine information and updates, as well as testing, visit winonahealth.org/COVID-19.
Other community websites to check include Winona County, www.co.winona.mn.us, and the City of Winona, www.cityofwinona.com.