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Patients 65 and older urged to get on Avera list for vaccine

MARSHALL — Avera Marshall Regional Medical Center is making progress in vaccinating area seniors. On Monday, Avera Marshall announced that it was lowering the age threshold for patients eligible to make a vaccination appointment.

Now, people age 65 and over are invited to call Avera Marshall if they would like to be placed on a waiting list for COVID-19 vaccine.

Avera Marshall has been encouraging people age 85 and older to call since mid-February.

“We are thrilled to be making progress in vaccinating our most vulnerable populations,” said Debbie Streier, Regional President and CEO of Avera Marshall.

“We’ve been able to schedule many individuals 85 and over for appointments, and now we’re happy to expand the age range. Our call center continues to call patients, but we aren’t always able to reach people when we call. So now we are expanding the age range of individuals invited to reach out to us.”

Dr. Steven Meister, Avera Marshall Chief Medical Officer, said that as the weeks progress and more people are vaccinated, Avera Marshall and other community organizations will be able to open vaccination to additional groups.

“Be assured that everyone will have their turn,” Meister said. “In the meantime, we encourage people to stay up to date and be informed about the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine. It’s exciting to see that vaccinations are already having the positive effect of helping to bring down the number of COVID-related hospitalizations that we are seeing.”

Avera Marshall said it will continue holding vaccine clinics as they have vaccine supply available from the state of Minnesota.

People age 65 and older who want to be placed on the list for a vaccine appointment can call 507-532-9661.

While COVID-19 case numbers have been down compared to rates in November and December, Lyon County and the surrounding area are still reporting new positive cases. On Sunday, the Minnesota Department of Health reported one new death, a person in their 70s, from COVID-19 in Lyon County. The county had a total of 44 deaths and more than 3,000 positive COVID cases.

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