MARSHALL (KMHL) – Avera Marshall will be one of three hubs in southwest Minnesota to administer the vaccine for COVID-19. Avera Marshall announced this week that their pharmacy is equipped to store the vaccine – one of the two needs to be stored in extremely cold temperatures.

Avera Marshall Chief Medical Officer Dr. Steven Meister says they will be using a hub and spoke method for delivering the vaccine. He explains, “Avera Marshall will be one of the hubs, and then we deliver the vaccine to spokes around us. The reason that that is in place is because the Pfizer vaccine has to be kept at eighty below zero centigrade.”

Hospital officials say the details on the vaccine are still being worked out, but that Avera will follow CDC and Minnesota Department of Health guidelines.

Meister says, “The vaccine, once it warms up it has to be used it’s got to be used within six days and once it’s reconstituted it has to be used within six hours. So we’re looking to deploy to the highest tiered recipients towards the end of the month here towards Christmas.”

Avera Marshall’s timeline is similar to what Gov. Tim Walz said earlier this week when he said the first round of Minnesotans to receive the vaccine could come as early as Christmas.