Updated Mar 26, 2021 - News

Minnesota to expand COVID vaccine eligibility to everyone over 16 on March 30

Illustration of the state of Minnesota covered in bandages.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

All Minnesotans 16 and older will be eligible to sign up for a COVID-19 vaccine appointment starting Tuesday, Gov. Tim Walz announced Wednesday

Why it matters: It's coming at a critical time in our quest to return to pre-pandemic life. While hospitalizations and deaths remain down, cases are rising, especially among young people.

Driving the news: A big increase in supply is expected early next month, allowing the state to drastically expand eligibility.

  • "The good news is there’s going to be enough vaccine for everyone who wants it much faster than we thought," MDH Commissioner Jan Malcolm told reporters.
  • Officials say we need to vaccinate as many people as we can ASAP to stay ahead of the variants.

The catch: Just because you're eligible, doesn't mean you'll get an appointment immediately. The state expects about 300,000 doses a week by early April, but still needs to vaccinate millions of adults.

  • The Walz administration is still "directing providers to prioritize vaccine appointments for older Minnesotans, those with underlying health conditions and those in frontline jobs."
  • The result? Expect a mad dash for available appointments come Tuesday.

How to get your shot: If you have a health care provider, make sure your contact and personal information are up to date so they can reach you when appointments open up.

The bottom line: The vaccines are working remarkably well — just .01% of the 800,000 fully vaccinated Minnesotans have reported contracting the virus. None of them died.

  • If all continues to go well, big summer BBQs, hugs and, dare we suggest, the State Fair could (safely) be back in action.

This story first appeared in the Axios Twin Cities newsletter, designed to help readers get smarter, faster on the most consequential news unfolding in their own backyard.

Correction: An earlier version of this story misstated the percentage of Minnesotans who have tested positive for the virus after getting both vaccine doses.


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