Sanford Bemidji opens COVID-19 vaccinations to newly eligible groups


March 12, 2021

BEMIDJI, Minn. – Following new guidance from the Minnesota Department of Health, Sanford Health in Bemidji is beginning to offer vaccinations for those within the newly eligible vaccination groups.

As defined by the Minnesota Department of Health, these groups include:

• People with specific underlying medical conditions

• Essential workers

• People with rare conditions or disabilities

• People 45-64 with one or more underlying medical condition

• People 16-44 with two or more underlying medical conditions

• People age 50 and over in multi-generational housing

All patients who qualify for these categories will be eligible for the vaccine locally as more vaccines become available from the state. To help ensure that community members are able to get vaccinated in a timely manner, it is important, at this time, that patients within these specific categories do NOT call Sanford Health locations to make a vaccination appointment, unless they have received a communication from Sanford Health instructing them to do so.

Vaccinations will only be administered at the Sanford Bemidji Vaccine Clinic with an appointment.

What to expect

As with previous vaccination phases, if you qualify for these new groups and are a Sanford Health patient, you will receive a My Sanford Chart message and a call or text message when we are ready to set up your vaccine appointment. All patients are encouraged to enroll in a My Sanford Chart account if they do not already have one as this is the fastest and most efficient way to communicate and schedule your appointment. To enroll in My Sanford Chart, visit

Being a previous patient with Sanford Health is not a requirement to receive a vaccine. If you are not a patient of a health system or if you are unsure and would like to get the COVID-19 vaccine, please go to this link at to be added to our waiting list. (Note: if you have already joined this list, you do not need to join it again.)

After receiving the vaccination scheduling communication, patients will be instructed on how to schedule their appointment and where/when to go to receive it. The appointment and COVID-19 vaccine are at no cost to the recipient.

People will be observed on-site for 15 minutes after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. The most common side effects are injection site pain, soreness and swelling.

Preferences for which brand of vaccine a person receives will not be accepted. If the vaccine requires a second dose, the patient will schedule a second dose appointment for the same type of vaccine upon arrival for their first vaccination.

The second dose of the Pfizer vaccine should be received 21 days after the first dose. The second dose of the Moderna vaccine should be received 28 days after the first dose. The Johnson and Johnson vaccine does not require a second booster dose.

Previous vaccination phases

Community members who qualify for previous vaccination groups, including those 65 years-old and older, and have not yet received their vaccination are still eligible to do so. To schedule their vaccination, they may call (877) 701-0779.

For more information on the COVID-19 vaccine, visit and the CDC.


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