ROCHESTER, Minn. - Saturday the Mayo Civic Center gave an inside look before its first day as the Med-City's new permanent COVID-19 vaccination site.
1,500 people will get their first dose of the shot on Sunday.
Rochester is the third-largest city being selected to have a permanent vaccine site, taking a big first step toward returning the Med-City to normalcy.
Vault Health will administer the Moderna vaccine - requiring 2 doses 28 days apart.
Medical Director of Vault Health, Dr. Myles Spar, says the biggest challenge is getting enough vaccines.
The City of Rochester has partnered with the state to provide this vaccine site at the Mayo Civic Center every Sunday for the foreseeable future as supply allows - in effort to get as many Minnesotans vaccinated as possible.
Dr. Spar says "It's a very safe, very effective vaccine - we've had very few side effects or problems. Yeah people get a little sore arm, or feel a little icky for a day or two - but it's relatively mild. Not dissimilar from a flu shot."
Dr. Spar says this next step is the light at the end of the tunnel.
"Right now we're vaccinating the older population, many grandparents, hearing stories that they can't wait to be able to hug grandkids - it's crazy that that's something that they have to aspire to do."
Staff will monitor patients up to 15 minutes after they're given the shot - with the whole process taking well under an hour.
Dr. Spar adds - you automatically get your appointment for the second dose - if you get your first shot through the Vault, so you are guaranteed to get both doses.
The vaccine is being given out through a lottery based system. The state is prioritizing ages 65 and over.
If you haven't yet - you can register through the Minnesota Department of Health website at https://www.health.state.mn.us/.