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Doctors ask for patience in vaccine distribution

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WINONA, Minn. (WXOW) - As vaccine manufacturers work hard to get vaccines out to distributors, anticipation is high among the public, but health officials ask for patience as supply varies and is limited.

Winona Health hasn't received a vaccine supply for a few weeks. Luckily, Mayo in Rochester gave them 100 doses and their local coalition also shared, so a few hundred doses have come into Winona County.

Winona Health CEO Rachelle Schultz said it is important to be patient, simply because there isn't enough.

"Unfortunately, the manufacturers haven't been able to ramp up to the level that we need right now, and there are more vaccines in process as we all know, so patience is really the virtue right now which is incredibly difficult given the year we have just come off of," said Schultz. "It's just really hard to continue to wait."

She explained that they want to give as many vaccinations as soon as the can.

"I think from the beginning, a lot of us, or everybody thought that we wouldn't have the vaccine at this point in time and then we have this new technology, the MRNA technology from Pfizer and Moderna and it came faster which is really great, and I think that released the desire for everyone to get this vaccine," said Schultz.

Healthcare workers give vaccinations all the time, Schultz explained. They are ready and prepared and they could give as many as they want if the supply was there. If the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is approved to be given out, it could help speed things along.

"A couple of things that will be nice is number one we have a third vaccine to work with so that's more volume. Number two, the thing about this one is that it's a single dose, so you don't have to make an appointment for three or four weeks later like you do with the current vaccines," said Schultz.

She said everyone is eagerly waiting for the vaccine to come but things are looking up.

"I think what I am most excited about is the interest that we have in our community with the people getting the vaccine," said Schultz. "When we are hearing that we need 75-80% of people to get that herd immunity, that's a big lift, that's asking a lot of people to get the vaccine so that's a hefty target, but I am really pleased with the number of people actually wanting to get the vaccine."

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Rylie Kyhn

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