Skip to main content

It could take months to vaccinate Minnesota teachers, people 65 and older

"This is going to be harder than going to Ticketmaster and trying to get Bruce Springsteen tickets," Walz said.

Speeding up the COVID-19 vaccination process in Minnesota will depend mostly on whether the federal government can ramp up its distribution of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, which are both two-dose vaccines that need to be administered 3-4 weeks apart. 

Minnesota is currently receiving just 60,000 doses per week from the federal government, and at that current rate Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) Commissioner Jan Malcolm said it could take until June to vaccinate Minnesotans 65 and older, school teachers and child care providers.

It was announced Monday that people in these categories are next in line to receive the vaccine once the approximately 500,000 healthcare workers and staff/residents of long-term care settings receive both doses. 

With the incoming Biden Administration vowing to ramp up vaccine production, more help from the federal government should be forthcoming, but Malcolm said the state is expecting to receive 60,000 doses a week for at least the next several weeks.

Gov. Walz, speaking on a press call Monday, said there will be millions of Minnesotans who will be eligible for the vaccine, but the problem is that many of the vaccination sites that are opening around the state will only have "hundreds" of doses "until the federal government simply moves faster."

"Not all eligible people will actually be able to get a vaccination in the near future here. As Gov. Walz said, we desperately need more doses from the federal government," said Malcolm. 

The process to receive a vaccine will vary depending who you are. If you're 65 or older, your healthcare provider will let you know when they have vaccine available. Folks 65 and older can also go to mn.gov/vaccine beginning at 12 p.m. Tuesday to attempt to schedule an appointment at one of the nine pilot sites for vaccination in Minnesota. 

But Walz said MDH is expecting a huge rush from people trying to book an appointment, saying: "This is going to be harder than going to Ticketmaster and trying to get Bruce Springsteen tickets."

The nine vaccination sites will be in Anoka, Brooklyn Center, Fergus Falls, Marshall, Mountain Iron, North Mankato, Rochester, St. Cloud, and Thief River Falls.

Appointments can also be made by calling 612-426-7230, or 833-431-2053. 

Educators and child care providers should not attempt to book an appointment until they have been notified by their employer. 

"Your school or child care program will be working directly with you to schedule appointments, and you'll receive more information about that process from your employer," said Malcolm. 

This means there will likely be thousands of elementary teachers in Minnesota returning their classroom for in-person instruction with full classrooms in February while not yet having had the vaccine. 

Sign up: Subscribe to our BREAKING NEWS newsletters

Malcolm estimated that the 500,000 healthcare workers and long-term are residents who are first in line for the vaccine should be done by. the end of January or early February, which would result in more opportunity for people 65 and older, educators and child care providers to receive the vaccine. 

"We urge Minnesotans to be patient, however, because limited vaccine supply continues to persist. At this time, there are still health care workers and high-risk patients in congregate care settings waiting to receive their vaccinations," said Minnesota Medical Association President Marilyn Peitso, MD. "We also know this disease has disproportionately harmed Minnesota’s Black, Indigenous and People of Color, and it is imperative that the state work to distribute vaccines to Minnesotans who are most at risk as quickly as possible."

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.

Next Up

8470850644_ccecdfb7ed_b

Ringo Starr's late cancellation of MN show was because he has COVID-19

The Beatles drummer was due to perform in Minnesota Sunday.

Screen Shot 2022-10-03 at 4.32.58 PM

Fire destroys cafe, two other business properties in downtown Fairfax

A former pizza joint was also destroyed, while two other properties were damaged.

Hennepin County Medical Center, HCMC

Woman dies from injuries in crash that killed her husband, another man

The couple in their 80s died in the collision near Lake Lillian.

CPAP masks

2 Park Nicollet employees convicted of embezzling $500,000

The pair worked at a CPAP clinic in St. Louis Park.

Concert

No Jingle Ball this year? Twin Cities left off iHeartRadio holiday tour

The annual touring event usually visits the Xcel Energy Center.

Target store

Target gives first look at some of its Deal Days discounts

The Minneapolis retailer is holding its Deal Days event earlier than ever, in an attempt to drive sales after a turbulent year.

Screen Shot 2022-10-03 at 11.03.12 AM

Man dies after crashing truck into western Wisconsin lake

The victim was unable to make it to shore despite being able to get out of his truck.

ATV, all-terrain vehicle

Sheriff: Man who didn't return to campsite died in ATV crash

It happened at the Foothills State Forest and Spider Lake ATV Recreation Area

Richard Liu, aka Liu Qiangdong

Chinese billionaire settles lawsuit over alleged rape in Minneapolis

The tech billionaire was accused of sexually assaulting a University of Minnesota student in 2018.

US Navy Flickr - COVID hospital PPE nurse

Frontline worker payments: Over a million Minnesotans to get $487.45

Gov. Tim Walz says the payments will start going out on Wednesday.

19050650853_a4a6377429_k

Ed Sheeran to bring North America stadium tour to Minneapolis

It's the second show announced for the Vikings stadium in 2023.

Related

covid-19, vaccine

Minnesota changes vaccine appointment process, here's what to know

Walz also announced plans for a mass vaccination event at Xcel Energy Center.

vaccine, covid

24,000 doses for 65+ to be used at MN pharmacies this week

Minnesota continues to battle a limited supply of doses.

Screen Shot 2021-01-12 at 9.48.38 AM

MN unveils dashboard to track COVID vaccine distribution

It provides a very clear view of where and who is getting vaccinated.

covid, vaccine

Minnesota's 9th community vaccine site opening in Lino Lakes

All Minnesotans age 16 and older can try to get an appointment.