BEMIDJI -- Sanford Health of Northern Minnesota recently added online scheduling for COVID-19 vaccinations.

Anyone, whether or not they are a patient of Sanford Health, can make an appointment online through the Sanford Health website to get their COVID-19 vaccine, a release said.

“With vaccinations opening up to anyone 16 years old and older, many of whom work full time, have families and busy schedules, we wanted to make vaccination scheduling as accessible as possible for community members,” Dr. Colleen Swank, clinic vice president and physician for Sanford Bemidji, said in the release. “Now, anyone can schedule their vaccine from any mobile device at any time, day or night.”

The new online scheduling portal allows patients to easily see what vaccination locations are closest to them, and it shares all vaccination time slots that are currently available at that location.

Community members can also schedule their appointment by calling the vaccine clinic at (877) 701-0779 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday-Friday.

Newsletter signup for email alerts

RELATED: Sanford Health expands COVID-19 vaccinations to those 16 and older

What to expect

Upon scheduling online, through My Sanford Chart or calling the vaccine clinic phone number, patients will be instructed where and when to go to receive their vaccine. The appointment and COVID-19 vaccine are of no cost to the patient. The vaccinations will be administered at the Sanford Bemidji Vaccine Clinic with an appointment.

Being a previous patient of Sanford is not a requirement for the vaccination. Those who are not a previous Sanford patient can complete a vaccine request form at sanfordhealth.org.

Those receiving the vaccine will be on site for 15 minutes after receiving their dose for observation. The most common side effects are injection site pain, soreness and swelling.

Preferences for which brand of vaccine are not accepted. Because of manufacturer restrictions, 16- and 17-year-olds may receive the Pfizer vaccine, but not those produced by Moderna or Johnson and Johnson.

If the vaccine requires a second dose, the patient will be scheduled upon their arrival for the same type as their first. The second dose of the Pfizer vaccine is given after 21 days, while the second dose of Moderna comes 28 days after the first. The Johnson and Johnson vaccine does not require a second dose.

Those who may be unsure about getting the COVID-19 vaccine or would like to learn more, can call the Sanford Health Nurse Line at (800) 821-5167, or visit sanfordhealth.org.