Altru to receive first vaccine shipment later this week

Altru will receive 450 doses of the vaccine in its first allotment.

FILE PHOTO: A phial of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is seen at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast
A vial of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is seen ahead of being administered at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast, Northern Ireland, on Dec. 8. Liam McBurney/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

Grand Forks’ health system will be receiving its first batch of coronavirus vaccine later this week.

Altru Health System announced Monday, Dec. 14, that it will receive its first allocation of the COVID-19 vaccine on Wednesday, Dec. 16. Altru will receive 450 doses of the vaccine in its first allotment.

The vaccine is from the manufacturer Pfizer and will come to Altru via the North Dakota Department of Health, according to a press release from the hospital.

“Altru will be utilizing this and future allocations, which we anticipate receiving on a weekly basis, to vaccinate our staff,” Altru said in a statement.

Health care workers have been designated as a priority group, and Altru has aligned with the North Dakota Department of Health guidelines to prioritize staff to receive the vaccine first based on their likelihood of direct contact with patients who have COVID-19.


Altru is not part of plans to vaccinate the public at this time, according to the release.

The vaccine, which was approved by the Food and Drug Administration late Friday, is being made available under an emergency use authorization.

Altru says the vaccine will not be mandatory for Altru staff, but will be “highly recommended as an important tool in the fight against COVID-19.”

The first dosages of the COVID-19 vaccine were distributed across the country and regionally on Monday.

Health care workers in Bismarck and Fargo were among the first in North Dakota to receive the vaccine on Monday.

Sanford Health received its first shipment of vaccines on Monday morning with 3,400 doses for the Fargo region with more deliveries of vaccine expected weekly.

Sanford says it will begin distributing the vaccine this week to front-line providers working in rural locations across the state, including Sanford Mayville Medical Center and Sanford Hillsboro Medical Center.

Also on Monday, the first COVID-19 vaccine shipments arrived in Minnesota at four sites across the state, including Minneapolis Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Sanford Bemidji Medical Center, Olmsted Medical Center and Cass Lake Indian Health Services.


“This is an exciting day for Minnesota,” Gov. Tim Walz said in a press release. “The first vaccines are here. They are safe, and they will be ready to go soon. The sun is coming up, Minnesota.”

Minnesota is expected to receive a total of 46,800 units of vaccine across the statewide regional vaccine distribution hubs this week. From there, the vaccine will be distributed to smaller hospitals or clinics, and providers will then administer the vaccine to Minnesotans, starting with health care workers and long-term care residents.

“All Minnesotans will have the opportunity to receive the vaccine in time, but until then, we need to stay safe and keep up the fight,” Walz said.

Sydney Mook has been the managing editor at the Herald since April 2021. In her role she edits and assigns stories and helps reporters develop their work for readers.

Mook has been with the Herald since May 2018 and was first hired as the Herald's higher education reporter where she covered UND and other happenings in state higher education. She was later promoted to community editor in 2019.

For story pitches contact her at or call her at 701-780-1134.
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