Sanford Bismarck to offer first COVID-19 vaccine to public

Lauren Peters Erling
Sanford Health Media Relations
(701) 516-4903 /

BISMARCK, N.D., Jan. 14, 2021 – Sanford Health Bismarck and Sanford Health Fargo will begin administering the COVID-19 vaccine to individuals that fall in to the phase 1B category this week, beginning with high-risk patients 75 years and older with underlying health conditions.

“We are excited to begin offering the COVID-19 vaccine to the public,” said Dr. Todd Schaffer, Sanford Health vice president of clinic. “This vaccine is a proven, safe treatment with a 95% efficacy rate. A safe and effective vaccine is an important step in ending this pandemic. I strongly recommend that if you have the opportunity to get the COVID-19 vaccine to do so.”

How soon people will be able to receive the vaccine depends on the amount available and where people fit in to each priority group. Priority groups are set by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and North Dakota Department of Health. Priority groups are established based on occupation and those with certain health conditions as they are most at risk for COVID-19. People at high-risk will be prioritized first.

Sanford patients should not contact their doctor’s office to find out when they are eligible for the vaccine. Sanford Health will notify patients when the vaccine is available for them. Timing is subject to change based on vaccine availability and guidance from the CDC and state. Sanford patients will receive a My Sanford Chart message, a letter and a voice message or text message when they are eligible to set up their vaccine appointment. All patients are encouraged to enroll in a My Sanford Chart account if they do not already have one as this is the fastest and most efficient way to communicate. To enroll in a My Sanford Chart account, visit

After receiving the notification, people can schedule an appointment through My Sanford Chart.

“The more people that get the vaccine, the sooner we can get herd immunity, reduce illness, hospitalizations and death,” said Dr. Noe Mateo, Sanford Health infectious disease specialist in Bismarck. “Herd immunity is achieved when enough people have protection against this virus and getting a vaccine is the best and safest way to get this pandemic under control.”

Patients will be observed on-site for 15 minutes after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. The most common side effects are injection site pain, soreness and swelling. The second dose of the Pfizer vaccine should be received 21 days after the first dose. The second dose of the Moderna vaccine should be received 28 days after the first dose.

For more information on the COVID-19 vaccine, visit and the CDC.

About Sanford Health

Sanford Health, one of the largest health systems in the United States, is dedicated to the integrated delivery of health care, genomic medicine, senior care and services, global clinics, research and affordable insurance. Headquartered in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, the organization includes 46 hospitals, 1,400 physicians and more than 200 Good Samaritan Society senior care locations in 26 states and 10 countries. Learn more about Sanford Health’s transformative work to improve the human condition at or Sanford Health News.