FARGO — Fargo-Cass Public Health, Essentia Health and Sanford Health are working together to open a central vaccination center under one roof in Fargo.
The joint community vaccination center will be in the former Gordmans store, 5100 14th Ave. S., and it likely will be a week or two for public health officials to begin operations there, Fargo Mayor Tim Mahoney said Monday, Jan. 18.
“We think that’ll be a good site,” Mahoney said, adding that teams from each of the three health organizations have toured the former store location. “We had a great discussion with the teams.”
Gordmans closed the store in August, leaving behind a spacious, 55,000-square-foot building.
The Fargodome was considered, but quickly ruled out because it is busy hosting events, Mahoney said.
A central location for vaccinations will be efficient and convenient for people getting vaccinated, he said.
“You’ll only have one place to go,” Mahoney said. Shots will be given by appointment, so people should not face long lines, he said. There will be ample space, Mahoney added, to allow those vaccinated to remain for 15 minutes so they can be monitored for allergic reactions.
Essentia Health will conduct its first round of vaccinations for those 75 and older at its medical center at 3000 32nd Ave. S. in Fargo on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, then will move to the community vaccination center, a spokeswoman said.
A Sanford Health spokesman said a joint announcement is expected soon, possibly on Tuesday.
The incoming Biden administration, which takes office on Wednesday, is pushing the establishment of thousands of community vaccination centers. President-elect Joe Biden has set the goal of administering 100 million doses of vaccine to protect against COVID-19 in his first 100 days in office.
To do that, the Biden administration is proposing roles for the Federal Emergency Management Agency and National Guard as well as retired physicians and other retired health professionals.
North Dakota National Guard members have helped with mass COVID-19 testing events, but so far have not been asked to help with any vaccinations, a spokesman said.