Skip to main content

Walz among 8 governors calling on federal government to send out more vaccines

Walz says that 50% of produced vaccines are being held back.

Gov. Tim Walz has joined seven other governors in calling on the federal government to release more COVID vaccines to states.

A letter signed by Walz and governors from Illinois, Michigan, California, Kansas, Washington, New York, and Wisconsin cites "publicly reported information" that states the government is holding up to 50% of its vaccine supply in reserve.

The letter to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Alex Azar and Operation Warp Speed Chief Operating Officer General Gustave Perna urges them to release the doses so more people can get vaccinated.

While Walz's press release states the government is holding onto the doses "for reasons unknown," Politico reports that the government is withholding the same amount of doses it has shipped out so people who have already had their first shots can get their second one in the correct timeframe. 

But the letter says that with the U.S. government having reached an agreement with Pfizer and Moderna that will give it an allocation of 400 million doses by the second quarter of 2021, the government should have "the utmost confidence" that the vaccine manufacturing pipeline is robust and that future supplies will arrive.

It was reported Friday that President-elect Joe Biden will reverse the 50% policy when he takes office Jan. 20.

A major reason for their call is the new strains of the virus that have emerged, notably in the U.K., which researchers have suggested is 50% more transmissible than the strains seen up to now.

At this stage, the U.K. strain has not been confirmed in Minnesota, but state health officials believe it is already here. 

Sign up for our BREAKING NEWS newsletters

Minnesota has also been experiencing challenges in getting the vaccines distributed. 

As of Thursday, 91,174 people in Minnesota had received their first shots – most of them healthcare workers – but that is out of 396,350 doses the state has thus far been allocated, of which 288,000 will have arrived by the end of the day Thursday.

MDH Infectious Disease Director Kris Ehresmann explained the process of sending out the virus this week, saying the state finds out how many doses it can order from the federal government every Tuesday, but can't place the orders for the doses until Thursday, and the shipment doesn't arrive till the following week.

Per FOX 9, Ehresmann said that when shipments arrive, the vaccine is sent to an immunization site across the state, but due to the timescale of the ordering and transit process, a shipment ordered on a Tuesday may not reach the vaccine site until 10 days later.

"To reiterate, vaccine is not sitting anywhere in Minnesota, it's constantly moving and it takes time for the whole process to happen," she added.

The state has said that all of the vaccines earmarked for the highest priority healthcare workers have been distributed, while work continues to vaccinate long-term care residents. 

Next Up

Screen Shot 2022-10-01 at 9.06.40 AM

What to do with the Kmart site? Minneapolis wants your ideas

The project will connect Nicollet Avenue south of Lake street and north of the Midtown Greenway, reestablishing a street grid.

Screen Shot 2022-10-01 at 7.53.55 AM

Crowd evacuated at end of homecoming football game in Brooklyn Park

Police blamed 'unruly teens' in the stands and some who were trying to enter the stadium.

gas

State to help 44 Minnesota gas stations add E15 pumps

The yellow 88 button is coming to more gas stations in Minnesota.

Screen Shot 2022-09-30 at 4.54.42 PM

FBI, police investigating bank robbery at Edina's 50th and France

An ATM technician was robbed by four men at a U.S. Bank.

Ethan Glynn

Paralyzed Bloomington football player begins rehabilitation in Colorado

Ethan Glynn is at a world-renowned rehabilitation hospital.

Press Bar fire

Owner of St. Cloud bar gets 6 years for arson, ordered to repay $3M

A February 2020 fire at the Press Bar and Parlor was later determined to be an insurance job.

IMG_5455

Bloomington, Richfield districts tighten security ahead of weekend football

Enhanced safety measures will be in place this weekend.

Screen Shot 2022-09-30 at 2.23.15 PM

Walz sends MN first responders to help with hurricane recovery in Florida

Eight members of the Minnesota All Hazards Incident Management Team will travel to Florida.

drought

It was the driest September in Twin Cities modern history

Less than a quarter inch of rain fell in September.

Related

tim walz

Walz fury after report that government's COVID vaccine reserve is nonexistent

The Washington Post reported Friday that the Trump Administration has shipped out all the vaccines it has already, with none in reserve.

vaccine, covid

Walz, Whitmer, and Evers call on Trump Admin. to buy more vaccines

It comes after The Washington Post reported that the country's COVID vaccine reserves have been exhausted.

vaccine, covid

COVID-19: Walz says Minnesota was shorted about 40% of vaccine doses

The governor says it's on the federal government to come through.

covid, vaccine

Walz: Vaccines available to all Minnesota adults from March 30

Minnesota's vaccine supply is set to increase rapidly.

Walz

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

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

covid, vaccine

More than 1 million Minnesotans have completed their vaccine series

The milestone was announced on the day that vaccine availability was widened.

Tim Walz - YouTube - Screengrab

Gov. Walz: Newly-vaccinated Minnesotans will get $100

The incentive was announced shortly after President Biden announced the initiative.

Screen Shot 2021-02-25 at 12.22.09 PM

Walz sets target to get 80% of Minnesotan adults vaccinated

He has challenged Minnesotans to get their shots.