Gov. Walz to give update on COVID-19 plan at Monday press conference

A press call is scheduled for 2 p.m. Monday.
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Governor Tim Walz

Gov. Tim Walz and the Minnesota Department of Health on Monday will share the state's next steps in its vaccine distribution plan. 

According to a news release, MDH Commissioner Jan Malcolm, AAPR Minnesota's state director Will Phillips and HealthPartners CEO and President Andrew Walsh will join the governor on the press call. 

The press conference call will be at 2 p.m. Monday. 

Monday's news conference comes after the state last week expanded its COVID-19 guidance to urge providers to start vaccinating Minnesotans who are 65 and older following the federal government changing its guidance to say the same. Previously, vaccines in Minnesota were reserved for healthcare workers and long-term care residents.

Later in the week, the Washington Post reported the Trump Administration had shipped out all the vaccines it has already, with none in reserve. During a news conference Friday, Walz was furious, describing it as "egregious," a "catastrophe," and said it's "unimaginable" that states have been lied to about the number of vaccines the federal government has in reserves. 

Later that day, Walz joined the governors of Wisconsin and Michigan in calling for the Trump Administration to order more COVID-19 vaccines before the president leaves office.

Minnesota has been promised more than 624,000 vaccine doses by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, of which just over 407,000 have been received by providers in the state, MDH data show

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There have been logistical and administrative challenges with getting people vaccinated in a timely manner, with MPR reporting that among the identified problems are regulations governing who is able to give the shots.

Meanwhile, the Star Tribune reported Thursday that in senior care facilities between 30-60% of staff members eligible to receive the shot are refusing it for now, citing concerns about side effects.

The CDC says any side effects are typically mild and disappear after a few days at most, while allergic reactions are extremely rare.

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