WILLMAR — Kandiyohi County residents who are awaiting their turn to receive one of the available COVID-19 vaccines should be wary of scams surrounding the vaccines.
Jennie Lippert, county Health and Human Services director, warned in a news release Tuesday about several scams that are popping up, including fake waiting lists, paying to get early access and scammers calling individuals about the vaccines and asking for Social Security numbers, bank account information or credit card numbers.
Currently, only frontline health care workers and long-term care residents are being offered vaccines in clinics that are scheduled as the vaccine is received in the county.
"Ignore any vaccine offers that say differently, or ask for personal or financial information," the release said, adding Public Health and health care providers will keep the public informed through Carris Health MyChart patient accounts, local media, social media outlets and the Carris Health website. "Trust your health care providers to keep you informed as to when you will be eligible to receive your vaccination."
Kandiyohi County Public Health and Carris Health are working together to provide vaccinations to those eligible. According to the release, the federal government is determining how many doses of the vaccine the state receives each week, and then the state decides how many vaccines each regional hub receives.
Each of the distribution hubs, usually large hospitals and public health departments with the storage capacity for the vaccines, then divide up the vaccines to local health care providers who have registered to receive the vaccines.
"Minnesota allocates doses to providers based on federal guidance," the release said.
At some point, the vaccines will be available to the public at large, but right now shots are limited.
"All individuals who are interested in receiving a vaccination will be offered the vaccine when they become eligible based on the priority groups established" by the Centers for Disease Control and the Minnesota Department of Health, the release said.