Mar 9, 2021 - News

Minnesota expands COVID vaccine eligibility ahead of schedule

Minnesota Gov Tim Walz

Photo: Scott Takushi/MediaNews Group/St. Paul Pioneer Press via Getty Images

Minnesota is opening up vaccine eligibility to include 1.8 million more people, including those with underlying conditions and essential workers, Gov. Tim Walz announced Tuesday.

Why it matters: The expansion, effective Wednesday, comes as the state hits its goal of vaccinating 70% of seniors weeks ahead of schedule.

  • The next waves include Minnesotans with certain health conditions or disabilities that make them more vulnerable to serious disease and "essential frontline workers" at food processing plants, grocery stores, restaurants, public transit and farms.
  • Providers will be instructed to prioritize food processing plant workers and people with the most serious health conditions.
  • The state's vaccine connector will alert citizens of available appointments when eligible.
vaccine group flow chart state of minnesota
People in the columns labeled "Early Spring" and "Late Spring" will be eligible as of Wednesday. Image: State of Minnesota

The big picture: Increases in supply have allowed health providers and the state to move faster than expected.

What's next: Expect more pressure for the governor to further lift restrictions, including limits on restaurants and large gatherings — especially if cases remain low and vaccinations continue to pick up.

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