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COVID In MN: Vaccines To Start Arriving At Long-Term Care Facilities Monday

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- People living and working in Minnesota's long-term care facilities will begin getting vaccinated Monday.

Two of those people are Carol and Jim Engelking, who live at the St. Therese Senior Community in Woodbury.

Living in different sections of the facility and nearly 90 years old, the couple's only gotten to visit each other sparingly this year. They couldn't get within six feet of each other to celebrate their 66th anniversary this summer. Paula Engelking is their daughter.

"It's been a hard year for everybody, but I'd argue it's been a pretty hard year for my mom and dad," Paula said.

She is crossing her fingers that the vaccine is the first step in reuniting her parents.

"We are thrilled," she said. "I posted it on Facebook or Instagram, you know, best gift ever. It feels exciting to be, you know, kind of seeing that light at the end of the tunnel."

Jim and Carol Engelking
Jim and Carol Engelking (credit: The Engelking Family)

Carol's not a fan of shots, but it's worth it to see her Jim again.

"[When I finally get to see Jim] I'm just gonna give him a big hug and I'm glad I'm gonna to be there," she said.

Including St. Therese in Woodbury, 599 living facilities in Minnesota will begin receiving vaccinations through CVS Health Monday, for a total of more than 63,000 people. Dr. Troy Brennan is CVS Health's chief medical officer.

"Everybody in this country wants to return to normal life," Brennan said. "The fastest way for us to do that is for everybody to get vaccinated."

Doctors with CVS Health say there's no exact date yet on when the vaccine will start being given to the public. The Minnesota Department of Health says it will make it clear when it will be the public's turn.

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