Fond du Lac Band, Carlton County team up to host COVID-19 vaccine clinic at Black Bear Casino

Alejandra Palacios
Updated: April 01, 2021 06:12 PM
Created: April 01, 2021 04:31 PM

A COVID-19 vaccination clinic hosted at the Black Bear Casino Resort event center had 500 people get their first dose of the Moderna vaccine thanks to a partnership with Carlton County and the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa.

"I was excited I had just been waiting for the opportunity to be able to get it," said Sue Chapin, a resident of Carlton County.

"Fond du Lac had some vaccines available and they wanted to partner and it was a matter of a couple of meetings and the ball got rolling and here we are today," said Casey Johnson, a public health nurse for Carlton County Public Health and Human Services.

500 additional Carlton County residents were able to get vaccinated because of this and with eligibility expanding in Minnesota this opened the opportunity to more people.

"I wasn't someone that qualified to get the vaccine by age or underlying conditions or anything so when it opened up more I was happy to be able to get it," said Chapin.

"For a while I've been waiting for them to get it to the under 65 group because I'm only 63 so I didn’t qualify before," said Keith Frenling of Cloquet.

Ten pods were open at the event center for vaccinations to take place. People were spaced out in the entire process.

"It was pretty simple, I went through pretty quick. It was painless and easy," said Frenling.

According to Carlton County Public Health, approximately 40 percent of residents have received one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine so far. The Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa also said they've been ramping up vaccination efforts.

"With 65 and older we're about 82 percent right now and for the age group of 52 to 64 we are over 74 percent of persons vaccinated," said Samuel Moose, the director of Fond du Lac Human Services.

However, Moose said they’re having some challenges with vaccinating younger populations due to vaccine hesitancy from some.

"We're putting a lot of information in our community about our younger population doing their part to come out and get vaccinated to really protect us as a whole, as community and really to protect our elders," said Moose.

That being said, Moose said he's happy to see BIPOC (black, indigenous, people of color) communities having more opportunities to get the vaccine and said that’s a priority for them.

"That's some work that we're trying to do and it definitely helps when it's your community and those organizations that really work with those populations to get out there to put out information to get local community influencers to talk about vaccine safety and to really ask our population to come out and do their part to get vaccinated," said Moose.

Moose also said they plan on hosting a vaccination clinic on April 29 for the people that got vaccinated for their first dose of the Moderna vaccine at Black Bear Casino to get their second dose.

Johnson said they are looking for anybody available to assist as nurse vaccinators or support staff at their clinics and encouraged folks to register with the Minnesota Response Volunteer Program.

Moose also said Fond du Lac has three additional vaccine clinic opportunities.

Additional information can be found below:

Carlton County:

- Carlton County Call Center for vaccine registration (current eligibility is 18+ based on Moderna Vaccine Guidelines): 218-499-6310

- Carlton County Hotline: 218-499-6312

- Carlton County COVID-19 Hub:

Fond du Lac:

- Fond du Lac Human Services COVID-19 Hotline: 218-878-3791

- Fond du Lac Human Services COVID-19 Updates:

Ages 16-17 interested in the vaccine in Carlton County can call Community Memorial Hospital or go to

Minnesota Responds Volunteer Registration:


Alejandra Palacios

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