Mayo Clinic Health System will begin vaccinating Southeast Minnesota Region staff with the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine the week of Monday, Dec. 21. The distribution plan prioritizes eligibility based on risk level and aligns with public health guidance. The earliest group includes front-line workers and caregivers. The COVID-19 vaccine is optional for staff.

Mayo Clinic expects to expand access to COVID-19 vaccines to all staff over the next two to three months. Patient vaccinations for COVID-19 also are expected to begin soon. Mayo Clinic will continue to coordinate with state and local governments on future vaccine distribution phases.

Vaccine distribution will occur in phases, with those at highest risk in the earliest phases. Most front-line staff who elect to be vaccinated will have their first shot completed within these next two to three weeks. The second shot will be administered three weeks later.

The vaccine has proven to be safe and effective in clinical trials. Health officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say that the vaccine is one step in controlling the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. However, everyone should continue to practice social distancing, wear a mask properly, wash your hands frequently, and follow your state and local recommendations until the spread has stopped.

For more information about the COVID-19 vaccine, including safety and efficacy data, visit the Mayo Clinic