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New COVID-19 booster vaccine available at Riverwood

Riverwood Healthcare Center is now offering the new COVID-19 bivalent booster vaccine, Pfizer only, at its Aitkin clinic. The vaccine is given by nurse appointment ongoing on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

To help meet the demand for COVID booster vaccinations, Riverwood has set up two special vaccine clinics: One at its Aitkin clinic on Wed., Sept. 28, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and another at its McGregor clinic on Thurs., Sept. 29, 10 a.m. to 3 pm.

Vaccine appointments are required and can be made by calling Riverwood at 218-927-2157.

Eligibility for booster vaccine

The Pfizer bivalent booster vaccine is recommended for those age 12 and older. The Moderna bivalent booster vaccine, which is not yet available at Riverwood, is recommended for people age 18 and older.

Both vaccines can be given at least two months after a primary vaccine series or booster vaccination. The bivalent vaccines can only be used for a single booster dose.

The COVID booster vaccine continues to be offered free for all Minnesotans at both state and private sites, regardless of insurance status.

How to get tested

Those requesting COVID testing through Riverwood’s appointment line at 218-927-2157, will be scheduled to go to the Riverwood Pharmacy located at Paulbeck’s County Market in Aitkin. Testing is done via drive through with a self-nasal swab test, Monday-Thursday, 9:00-11:45 a.m. and 1:00-4:15 p.m. and Friday, 9-11:45 a.m.

At-home COVID self-tests are widely available at local pharmacies and may also be ordered online. Every household in Minnesota is eligible to order up to 12 rapid at-home COVID self-tests for free (three separate orders of four tests per order), while supplies last. Order tests at https://mn.gov/covid19/get-tested/at-home/index.jsp

“If you have concerns about COVID symptoms for yourself or a family member, contact your health care provider,” said Dr. David Taylor, Riverwood’s chief medical officer. “There is antiviral medication therapy that we can prescribe for those who are elderly or at high risk of serious illness. This medication needs to be started within the first five days of symptoms.”