Skip to Content

Minnesota’s third mass vaccination site opens in Rochester’s Mayo Civic Center

Man receives first dose of Moderna vaccine at Rochester's Mayo Civic Center

ROCHESTER, Minn. (FOX 47) -- Despite frigid temperatures, 1,500 Minnesotans age 65 and older came from all across the state to Rochester for a first dose of the vaccine.

"We're feeling blessed. We're feeling giddy," said Rochester resident Marcia Jorgenson.

That is not something you would normally hear someone say on a subzero winter day in the middle of a pandemic. However, Minnesota's third mass vaccination site brought joy Sunday to those all across the state.

"I was on the list. I'm on a lot of lists but I finally got an email from them," said Wells resident Richard Baird.

An hour later, he got a call from the VA. Despite being picked twice, he decided to go with the Rochester option for the vaccine.

"It went real well. A lot of directions where to go. It went very smoothly," said Baird, who drove over an hour and a half to Rochester.

"The nurse was very professional and courteous. I can't say enough for the staff we ran into. They were very nice," said Dwain Jorgenson, Marcia's husband.

Neither the Jorgensons nor Baird reported any issues with the whole process.

"Sat through my 15 minute wait period and everything was good," the Wells resident said.

All are eager for their second dose in 28 days time so life can get back to normal.

"We certainly miss seeing our kids and our grandkids," Marcia said. "That's probably been the toughest."

The couple has found joy in the meantime.

"We just celebrated our 51st anniversary this week," Marcia said.

So what's their secret?

"A good sense of humor," Marcia said.

"Patience on both sides. Give and take," Dwain added. "We're fortunate we have a lot of common interests. We've had a great time together."

The Jorgensons are glad to have a first dose, but are still keeping Valentine's Day plans close to home.

"Probably just have a nice dinner this evening," Marcia said.

"Might have to have a kiss or something though," Dwain laughs.

The site has room for more to get vaccinated as more doses become available. Both the state health department and Vault Health hope to be able to administer the vaccine to more people in the future.

People can sign up on the Minnesota Department of Health's website to get their name in the lottery for an upcoming Sunday.

Neither Vault Health or the civic center faced any problems turning the site into a vaccine clinic.

Alex Tejada

Skip to content