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ANOTHER SHOT TO GET YOUR SHOT: Hy-Vee vaccination clinic has smooth first day

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- There's another shot, to get your shot. Hy-vee pharmacies are the newest chain to be added on the list for COVID-19 vaccination sites.

"It's a really exciting day today. This is the first time we've been able to open up the scheduler and get the customers and patients their vaccines," store director Chad Hartough said.

More than 10,000 doses were allocated to 30 Hy-Vee pharmacies across the state. All four Rochester locations received a couple hundred doses each. Minnesotans 65 and older can make appointments on a first come, first serve basis. On Monday, appointments in Rochester were filled in less than four hours.

Over at Hy-Vee's West Circle Drive location, vaccine recipients were shocked by how quickly they got in after weeks of waiting. Diane Huseth found out by checking the status of her waiting lists Monday morning.

"I couldn't believe it. You know, I just thought it would be another site to wait online, you know," vaccine recipient Diane Huseth said. "But no, this was a done deal."

Huseth was happy to report her husband was able to get in, too.

"He's getting his vaccine," she said. "And he's at Hy-Vee Crossroads, right now."

While appointments filled up quickly, Hy-vee officials say that they will be receiving a fluctuating number of doses each week.

"The best part about this whole thing is just seeing customers come in and patients that are 65 and older," Hartough said. "I mean they are so excited. I mean they've been waiting for this day."

Others, like Huseth, were on multiple waiting lists for the vaccine before getting in at Hy-Vee Monday.

"I'm on three waiting lists, actually," Janice Larsen said. "..I've been trying to get in for a month. Finally, I have a nephew that works here and he said sign in today -- and you'll get in."

"My wife's got me on three different lists," Mike Nobel said. "She was just checking them today and saw the one for this pharmacy. And instead of making firewood, I'm here!"

Working with the Farmer's Market, Nobel says a lot of his customers have gotten sick with COVID. It's made the pandemic more of a harsh reality for him.

"At the Farmer's Market, we just hear stories about families who have been through COVID. And surprised at who they lose," he said. "We know young people who have been lost, 16 and 21 years old. And 32. It isn't all older people. It's just whether your system is able to cope with it or not. It's kind of like Russian roulette."

After heartbreak, now, there's some relief.

"I've been looking forward to it," Nobel said.

"It's a relief," Larsen said. "Because I want to be able to see my grandchildren. I've been waiting for this. Very happy about it."

You can not make an appointment by calling the pharmacy, you must do so online here.

Beret Leone

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