COVID-19 vaccine eligibility is open to all Minnesotans regardless of conditions or age.

The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are a two dose vaccine series. The doses are given about three-four weeks apart. The second dose strengthens your body's immune response, which will help protect you if you are exposed to the coronavirus. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is a one dose vaccine. You must be 16 years or older to get the Pfizer vaccine, and 18 or older for the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines.

Common side effects after the first and/or second dose include, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

  • Pain, redness, swelling in the arm where you received the shot;
  • Tiredness;
  • Headache;
  • Muscle pain;
  • Chills;
  • Fever;
  • Nausea.

The vaccine is free of charge. You may be asked for your medical insurance. The insurance provider would be charged for any vaccine administration fees; providers cannot charge people receiving the vaccine.

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As vaccinations are working, helping protect others and yourself is important until more people have been vaccinated. The CDC list several ways you can help: wear a mask, keep a social distance of 6 feet or more, wash your hands well and often and stay home and consider getting tested if you have COVID-19 symptoms or are a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

For those who are fully vaccinated, people can gather with other fully vaccinated people without masks and gather with low-risk, unvaccinated people from one household without masks. Fully vaccinated people who have been around someone with COVID-19 do not need to stay away from others or get tested unless they have symptoms or live in a group setting, as stated in an Otter Tail County Public Health news release.

People are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine; or two weeks after receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, according to the CDC.

Otter Tail County Public Health is offering COVID-19 vaccine appointments and is following state guidance in prioritizing appointments for people most at risk of getting COVID-19, or those who could develop severe illness if infected. This includes older Minnesotans, those with underlying health conditions and those in essential jobs.

As vaccine is available and the need presents, Public Health will be in the following cities offering community clinics:

  • Fergus Falls: Mondays and Wednesdays each month
  • Pelican Rapids: 2nd and 4th Thursdays of the month
  • Perham: 2nd Fridays of the month
  • Parkers Prairie, New York Mills and Ottertail City clinics vary so please check the county website or call for weekly updates.

You may schedule an appointment at an Otter Tail County Public Health COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic by visiting the county website at or calling their office at 218-998-8320.

Find more vaccine appointment and waitlist opportunities on the Pioneer Journal website, including a new waitlist in Spanish.

At least one doseCompleted vaccine series
Becker County12,1979,642
Hubbard County6,3734,525
Otter Tail County19,57313,859
Todd County6,2384,306
Wadena County4,1562,999

As of April 6, the Minnesota Department of Health reports the following cumulative positive cases of COVID-19:

  • Becker County: 3,358 cases

  • Hubbard County: 1,657
  • Otter Tail County: 5,240
  • Todd County: 2,622
  • Wadena County: 1,381

Some patients who tested positive for COVID-19 may no longer need to be in isolation. As of April 1, Becker County had 3,174 cases not requiring isolation, Hubbard County 1,582, Otter Tail County 4,969, Todd County 2,531 and Wadena County 1,329.

The number of new cases of COVID-19 in Minnesota. As of April 6, 2021, there are 3,014 new cases, according to the Minnesota Department of Health.
The number of new cases of COVID-19 in Minnesota. As of April 6, 2021, there are 3,014 new cases, according to the Minnesota Department of Health.

Area counties saw one additional death from COVID-19 and its complications from March 31-April 6. The person in Otter Tail County was in the 80-84 years old age range, according to MDH. The state did not report deaths on April 4 due to Easter.

The newly reported deaths statewide included four people on April 6 with a total of 6,889 deaths from COVID-19 and its complications, according to MDH.


There is free COVID-19 saliva testing available at the Wadena Armory, whether you have symptoms or are asymptomatic. The saliva test requires no eating, drinking or smoking for 30 minutes prior. Make sure to be well hydrated the night before or even the hours before your test. The site is open Mondays and Tuesdays from noon-6 p.m. Testing helps bring better understanding to the spread of the virus in the community.

For mental wellbeing, Otter Tail County encourages purposeful self-care activities such as resting, taking a walk, reading, being creative, doing yoga or talking to a friend over video chat or phone.

COVID-19 vaccine information