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Caregivers to people with complex medical needs now eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccine

By Dana Kazel
Caregivers to people with complex medical needs are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Eligible caregivers may be paid or unpaid for their services. Paid caregivers who are eligible include personal care assistants (PCAs) and direct support professionals (DSPs), including those working on waivers and those working in home and community-based services.

Eligible unpaid caregivers include primary caregivers who work in similar capacities as PCAs, DSPs and nurses for persons with complex medical needs and tactile interpreters for people who are deaf-blind. The person being cared for can be of any age, but must have complex medical needs. Complex medical needs can most easily be explained as one or more medical issues requiring a significantly higher level of direct care than is typically needed by an individual of the same age. A person does not qualify as a caregiver if their role is simply to run errands for someone.

Eligible caregivers who do not have a medical provider can register for a vaccination appointment through St. Louis County Public Health either online at stlouiscountymn.gov/vaccineregistration or by calling the county’s COVID Vaccine Scheduling Line at (218) 726-2623.

The COVID Vaccine Scheduling Line is for eligible individuals who do not have a medical provider or who may be having difficulty scheduling an appointment online. Calls are answered Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. People can also call and leave a message after hours, and Public Health staff will follow up with them during regular business hours. St. Louis County Public Health launched this service last week as a way to make it easier for anyone eligible for the vaccine to get it.

St. Louis County Public Health is one of numerous health systems actively administering vaccinations. Eligible individuals who have not yet been vaccinated also are encouraged to check with their medical provider or local pharmacy for vaccination appointment opportunities. Additionally, everyone – whether eligible yet or not – can sign up to be notified when vaccines are available for them at https://vaccineconnector.mn.gov

Published in County

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