ST. CLOUD -- Starting Friday CentraCare will begin phasing in offering the COVID-19 vaccine to members of the community 65 and older.

However, don't call them, they will call you.

Spokesman Dr. George Morris says while they will continue to put a focus on vaccinating health care providers (tier 1a groups), guidance has changed to allow them to phase in vaccinating high-risk community members if and when they have available vaccine.

We've been encouraging, asking and looking for this guidance. We know we don't have a lot of vaccine available, but we really want to focus on our community members that are really at risk of complications from COVID.

Morris says because they don't have enough vaccine for everyone in the community, they will not be scheduling appointments, but rather plan to personally reach out and invite people who meet the criteria.

We have MyChart and Epic and this robust electronic record, so we know we can use our current platforms. We will also likely use phone, mailing and community resources such as health workers and others that are in touch with individual community members to help spread the word.

Morris says they expect to start reaching out to community members through the weekend and into next week.

CentraCare understands there are a lot of questions about the vaccine and when it will become available for the general public.

The organization says at this time there is no plans to hold vaccination clinics for the general public, scheduling appointments for vaccinations, a waiting list for the vaccine and no option to pay for early access to the vaccine.

CentraCare plans to keep the community informed as to when the vaccine will be available through direct patient communication, MyChart accounts, local news and social media channels.

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