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Minnesotans eligible for COVID shots only need to pre-register once for vaccine lottery

This is good news for people worried that they'd need to sign up every week.

The steps teachers, childcare workers, and Minnesotans aged 65 and older need to take in order to be qualified for the vaccination lottery has been simplified so that they now only need to pre-register once to be qualified for all weekly random drawings. 

Last week, the state vaccinated more than 13,300 Minnesotans at the nine vaccination pilot sites throughout the state, though signing up for an appointment was based on a first come, first served basis, which caused massive issues online and extremely long waits over the phone. 

This week, an additional 11,000 doses will be allocated to the pilot program that will see persons over the age of 65 selected via a random drawing on Wednesday, with all eligible participants having from 5 a.m. Tuesday until 5 a.m. Wednesday to pre-register online at mn.gov/findmyvaccine or over the phone at 833-431-2053, though the call-in window is only open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday. 

If you pre-register by 5 a.m. but are not chosen through the random drawing, your name will be stored and placed into the next week's random drawing. 

"Once you're signed up on this waiting list, you're always going to be eligible for that random process that runs," said Tarek Tomes, commissioner of Minnesota IT Services.  

Tomes said the average call time Tuesday was just over 9 minutes, while the state's registration website did not experience problems like it did when it launched last week. 

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