Wednesday, January 06, 2021

MANKATO (January 6, 2020) — The Mankato Clinic began administering the COVID-19 vaccine this week to more than 300 physicians, providers, nurses and staff who are working on the frontlines of this virus.

Katie Smentek, MD, lead COVID-19 physician, was among staff who received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine today. Dr. Smentek treats patients with COVID-19 symptoms at Mankato Clinic’s respiratory clinics in Children’s Health Center and Main Street Clinic.

“I am so grateful that our frontline healthcare workers are getting the COVID-19 vaccine this week. I have great confidence in the safety and effectiveness of this vaccine,” Dr. Smentek said. “This vaccine will help protect myself, my coworkers, patients and family from this deadly virus.”

Mankato Clinic is prioritizing staff to be vaccinated starting with providers and healthcare workers in the respiratory clinics as well as those who treat patients at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19. These employees include: providers who visit long-term care facilities; providers who visit the hospital such as obstetricians and surgeons; providers and nurses in oncology; and respiratory clinic maintenance and housekeeping staff.

Vaccine distribution in this region is coordinated by the South Central Healthcare Coalition and local public health departments working under the Minnesota Department of Health. Vaccines are supplied and allotted to states by the federal government.

Vaccines are not available to the general public yet. As vaccines become available, Mankato Clinic will notify patients and post information on our website. 

Vaccines are an important tool to help end the pandemic. Please continue to use all the tools available. Wear a mask, wash your hands often, stay at least 6 feet from others and stay home when you are sick.

Katie Smentek, MD, of Mankato Clinic received the COVID-19 vaccine from Tonya Treaner, LPN, on Wednesday, January 6. COVID-19 vaccines are being administered to healthcare workers.