Skip to main content

Minnesota to expand COVID vaccine guidance, urging providers to start giving it to those 65+

More vaccine guidance will be provided in the coming days.
Vaccine COVID

The Minnesota Department of Health us now urging health providers to give COVID-19 vaccinations to a broader range of people, including those aged 65+.

Thus far, Minnesota's vaccine supply has been earmarked for healthcare workers and those in long-term care facilities.

But with the federal government changing its guidance for vaccine distribution this week, MDH says it's now urging hospitals, health systems, and other vaccination partners to start vaccinating "broader categories of Minnesotans."

Further guidance on the vaccine rollout will be revealed in the coming days, but the health department identified those aged 65 and older as those who will be able to get the vaccine, given elderly people are more susceptible to severe complications from the virus.

The change in guidance is designed to encourage hospitals and other health providers to use up their vaccine doses "as quickly as possible" while still prioritizing those most in need of protection.

This won't necessarily mean there will suddenly be a huge amount of doses available for the state's elderly population, with MDH cautioning that the state is still experiencing a limited supply of the vaccine from the federal government.

Rather, it will give flexibility to health systems and other providers around the state, who have faced logistical and administrative challenges that have hampered efforts to vaccinate those in priority groups. So far, only around 33% of vaccination doses delivered to providers have been used.

The Star Tribune is also reporting that long-term care facilities in Minnesota have said that 30-60% of staff have refused the vaccine for now amid concerns over side effects. (The CDC says any side effects are typically mild and disappear after a few days at most, while allergic reactions are rare).

"We are approaching the end of our earliest stages of the vaccine rollout, and we want to make sure all vaccines in the state are getting into arms as quickly as possible,” said Minnesota Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm.

"The state is making sure that providers have nothing holding them back from immediately using any and all vaccine they have available. That said, the reality is that we have far more Minnesotans wanting the vaccine than we have doses available from the federal government. We are ready to get more vaccines out very quickly, but now we desperately need the federal government to step up and provide us with more vaccine."

Sign up for our BREAKING NEWS newsletters

So far, 153,332 people in Minnesota have received one dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, with 15,082 having received both.

Some 558,300 doses have been promised to Minnesota from the CDC, with 400,450 having been distributed to providers in the state.

"It will be some time before the federal government provides our state with enough vaccine to cover all those currently eligible," Malcolm added.

"Minnesota is ready to move on anything we get immediately, and we are working quickly to create new options for Minnesotans to schedule a vaccine. We’ll be sharing more details on this in the next few days.”

Next Up

Cam Talbot / Minnesota Wild

Talbot leads Wild to 7th straight victory

The Wild opened a four-game road trip with a win in Edmonton.

Paige Bueckers

Paige Bueckers out 6-8 weeks with injury

The Hopkins native was hurt during Sunday's matchup with Notre Dame.

Anthony Barr

Vikings' defense could get reinforcements against Steelers

Several starters could return for a critical Thursday night matchup.

Mercer ATV accident fundraiser

High schooler in coma, fighting for his life after ATV crash

Family members found the teen on the ground and unresponsive.

Nolan Sprengeler - muskie record - nov 2021

Angler officially breaks 64-year-old state muskie record

The muskellunge he caught on Nov. 22 weighed a whopping 55 pounds, 14 ounces.

coronavirus, ICU, covid-19 hospital, doctor

4th teen COVID-19 death reported in MN is the 2nd in as many weeks

All four teenage COVID-19 deaths in the state have been reported in the past two months.

Anil Menon

Minnesota native named to NASA's new astronaut class

When he's done training, he could be sent to the space station or the moon.

broadway pizza interior facebook

Gallery: Original Broadway Pizza auctioning off everything

Get your hands on some classic Broadway signage, train-themed decor and more.

art shanty projects

Art Shanty Projects to return to Lake Harriet this winter

The festival has made some creative changes in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change.

flickr - gov tim walz - mn senate dfl

After 'extraordinary' revenue growth, MN projects $7.7B surplus

But finance officials note there is still "significant risk" due to economic uncertainty.



MDH's new COVID guidance urges weekly testing for those involved in sports

Those not involved in school sports are still advised to get tested every two weeks.

Walz covid vaccine delivery

COVID-19 vaccines start arriving in Minnesota

The first doses of the vaccine could be administered to Minnesotans later this week.

covid-19, vaccine

Minnesota health leaders say state's vaccine progress better than figures suggest

Minnesota is lagging behind national vaccination rates, but MDH leaders say this is because it's holding 2nd doses in reserve.


Walz confirms major changes to Minnesota's vaccine program

The goal is to make more vaccines available for those 65-plus.

covid, vaccine

Minnesota launches website to connect people with latest COVID vaccine information

The website will alert you when you're eligible to make a vaccine appointment.

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.

Screen Shot 2021-01-19 at 12.04.55 PM

Minnesota's COVID vaccine appointment site goes live

Huge demand was expected when the site went live at noon.