COVID-19 Vaccine Operations North Dakota

According to the North Dakota COVID-19 Mass Vaccination Plan, recruitment of the vaccination staff will be advertised through various provider associations, such as (North Dakota Medical, Pharmacy, LTC, and Hospital Associations), immunization listserv, and the NDDoH website. North Dakota has a total of 388 enrollment sites for COVID-19 vaccination.

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North Dakota COVID-19 Vaccination Plans

  • Following the federal advisory board’s new guidelines and recommendations for distributing COVID-19 vaccines, the North Dakota ethics panel drafted its plan better to fit the national rollout in a few key priorities.
  • The Ethics Committee established a high priority group for all North Dakotans aged 75 and above as the initial targets of vaccinations, known as Phase 1B.
  • The committee also elevated a few essential workers into a lower tier of this phase, targeting pre-school and K-12 teachers, child care workers, and school operations workers like bus drivers into Phase 1B.
  • Phase 1B also accommodates North Dakotans between 65 and 74 with multiple underlying conditions, residents, and staff of prisons, group homes, and homeless shelters.
  • The second group covers anyone 65 and older with a single underlying condition. The third tier includes the rest of the state’s population aged 65 and above, anyone 16 and older with multiple underlying conditions, and school employees.
  • The vaccination hierarchy in order of priority approved by the North Dakota Department of Health is as follows;
    • Phase 1B:
      • Persons age 75 and older.
      • Persons age 65 – 74 with two or more high-risk medical conditions.
      • Staff and persons living in other congregate settings (i.e., corrections, group homes, treatment centers, homeless shelters, etc.).
      • Persons age 65 and older with one or more high-risk medical conditions.
      • Persons age 65 and older with or without high-risk medical conditions.
      • Persons with two or more high-risk medical conditions regardless of age.
      • Child care workers.
      • Workers employed by preschools or Kindergarten through 12th grade.
    • Phase 1C:
      • North Dakota National Guard, not previously covered.
      • Grocery workers.
      • Public safety answering points (911).
      • Manufacturing related to the development or supply of COVID-19 vaccine.
      • Other health care/public health workers not included in phase 1A.
      • Free-standing clinical laundries.
      • Public transit, including bus, taxi, and ride-share drivers.
      • Persons age 16 – 64 with one or more high-risk medical conditions.
      • Blood bank workers not previously vaccinated.
      • Information technology.
      • All other essential workers per Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA).
  • After the state completes Phase 1C, it will start vaccinating the general public.

Vaccine Distribution Update

  • The new Pfizer vaccine’s first shipment arrived in North Dakota in the second week of December 2020.
  • Front-line health care workers were the first to get vaccinated following the arrival, and the other top priority group, nursing home residents, were expected to follow suit.
  • According to the Grand Forks Herald, “The Grand Forks Public Health Department and Altru Health System have completed vaccination of priority groups defined in Phase 1A per the North Dakota COVID-19 Vaccine Prioritization Plan.”
  • According to the State’s Immunization Director, Molly Howell, “vaccine distribution in North Dakota has gone well the first three weeks. Although vaccine supply to the state is limited.”
  • As of the last day of 2020, the state has administered over 19,000 doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines to health care workers and nursing home residents, out of a total of about 35,200 allotted to the state so far.

Typical Working Hours /Days of the Week

  • The method of administering the COVID-19 vaccine in the state varies from facility to facility.
  • An example is Bismarck-Burleigh Public Health. The healthcare provider has asked interested candidates to fill up a survey form. The individuals and facilities will be contacted via email with their appointment dates/times.
  • Fargo Cass Public Health has asked Cass County residents to utilize the COVID-19 Vaccine – Phase 1B Resident Contact Form to share their information with FCPH to reach them.
  • Currently, residents of North Dakota cannot preregister for or make appointments to be vaccinated, but the department says that the public will be offered updates on when different groups will be eligible.
  • Residents are advised to pay attention to official websites and social media pages for up-to-date information.
  • Howell opined that different facilities and different areas of the state may progress to new phases of vaccination at different times depending on local acceptance and supply.


  • The staffing plan drafted by the North Dakota state government is provided below.
  • According to the North Dakota COVID-19 Mass Vaccination Plan, recruitment of the vaccination staff will be advertised through various provider associations, such as (North Dakota Medical, Pharmacy, LTC, and Hospital Associations), immunization listserv, and the NDDoH website.
  • All enrollments with the state are required to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • The enrollment process will be done electronically using Qualtrics, an online survey tool used annually for VFC enrollment.
  • Vaccination facilities are required to provide license numbers for all prescribers who may order or administer the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • As is done annually and quarterly for new providers in the VFC program, all licenses included in the provider enrollment will be verified to ensure they have valid in-state (or valid out of state for federal facilities) licenses that are in good standing and are not included on the federal exclusion list.
  • Provider enrollment will be mapped to ensure access to the COVID-19 vaccine by priority group and geography using a 30-mile radius.
  • North Dakota will provide education to providers, including pharmacies, clinics, LTC facilities, hospitals, and LPH, using webcasts and training videos (see Training section).
  • According to Becker Hospital Review, North Dakota launched a robust provider education program to prepare for vaccine administration in partnership with the North Dakota State University Center for Immunization Research and Education in Fargo.
  • Healthcare providers were trained regarding the COVID-19 vaccines before they were authorized for use in the United States, which allowed for vaccines to be administered immediately.

Where the Vaccination is Conducted

  • According to the COVID-19 Vaccine Dashboard hosted by the state’s government, the vaccination sites are selected based on enrollment.
  • In North Dakota, there are 388 enrollment sites, with counties such as Cass (64), Burleigh (53), Ward (27), and Grand Forks (22) having the highest number of enrollment sites.
  • Two facilities where the vaccination is done include the Fargo Cass Public Health and Trinity Health in Minot.
  • The North Dakota tribal allocation vaccination locations are provided herein.

Other Helpful Findings

  • As of Tuesday, 12th January 2021, North Dakota had administered 45,046 (24,168 Pfizer vaccines and 20,878 Mordena vaccines) doses of COVID-19 vaccines out of the 76,265 (36,075 doses from Pfizer and 40,200 from Mordena) doses received.
  • The first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine (1 dose) has a weekly coverage rate of 4.8%, while the second dose (2 dose) has a weekly coverage rate of 0.9%.
  • The coverage rate for both doses of the vaccine per the different age groups is provided herein.
  • Counties such as Rolette (12.7%), Mcintosh (10.7%), and Dickey (10.5%) have the highest coverage rate.
Glenn is the Lead Operations Research Analyst at The Digital Momentum with experience in research, statistical data analysis and interview techniques. A holder of degree in Economics. A true specialist in quantitative and qualitative research.

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