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Gov. Tim Walz to announce COVID vaccine next steps on Tuesday

Minnesota is nearing the 70% vaccinated target for over-65s.

Gov. Tim Walz is expected to announce the expansion of Minnesota's vaccination program as he holds a press conference Tuesday morning.

The governor will speak at 9:30 a.m., discussing the "next steps in Minnesota’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution" alongside Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm.

Walz had previously said Minnesota would move onto its next phase of vaccinations once the state had achieved 70% of over-65s receiving at least one vaccine dose.

As of Saturday, 66% of Minnesota's over-65s had received one dose of the two-shot Moderna or Pfizer vaccines, or the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Given the rate at which vaccine administration has been accelerating in recent weeks as the federal government obtained greater supplies of vaccines, it's possible that the 70% figure has already been reached.

If that's the case, it could be a matter of days before vaccines become available for the next tranche of priority Minnesotans, including those with certain chronic health conditions, and certain essential workers including those in the meat packing industry who are at a greater risk of contracting COVID-19.

Below is the rollout plan released by the governor a few weeks ago, when it was predicted that Minnesota would reached 70% of over-65s by the end of March.

Since this was released, a few changes have been made including the addition of Type-1 Diabetes, ALS, and cystic fibrosis to the "high-risk health conditions" list under "Early Spring," while certain workers in the court system and healthcare workers not covered under the previous rollout have been added to the "targeted essential workers" section.

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