Amid high demand, officials announce updates to Minnesota's community vaccination efforts

Rebecca Omastiak
Updated: January 26, 2021 05:18 AM
Created: January 25, 2021 11:04 AM

Amid growing appointment demand and supply shortages, officials announced Monday there will be updates made to the state's community vaccination efforts.

To that end, officials said Minnesotans who are 65 and older will have an extended, 24-hour window to pre-register for a chance to be selected for appointments at COVID-19 community vaccination clinics; pilot clinics in Blaine and Brooklyn Center will only administer vaccines to those 65 and older this week; and Xcel Energy Center will be the site of a vaccination event for 15,000 metro area educators, school staff and child care providers.

"This is about having the infrastructure in place to be ready when the federal government finally begins to send us more vaccine," Gov. Tim Walz said in a statement. "Every shot in the arm is another step toward crushing COVID and ending this pandemic. And we're going to get the vaccine we do have into arms quickly in Minnesota – whether that’s a few thousand doses or many more."

Walz also set a goal for vaccine providers to administer 90% of the vaccine doses they receive within three days of receiving them, and all doses within a week. Walz said the goal was set after data showed some providers, including the national chain pharmacies as part of the federal program, have lagged behind other providers.

"The federal government simply has to step up with more vaccine. Minnesotans are ready for this pandemic to end but it'll take far too long at the current rate we're getting vaccine," Walz said. "But what gets measured gets done. Our 72-hour and one-week goals will hold all vaccinators accountable to make sure the doses providers do receive get into Minnesotans' arms as quickly as possible. Every shot in the arm is another step toward crushing COVID and ending this pandemic. And we're going to get this done."

Extended registration process for those 65 and older

This week, Minnesotans who are 65 and older will now have an extended 24-hour window to pre-register for a randomized chance to schedule an appointment, starting at 5 a.m. Tuesday.

Those who sign up for the pre-registration list have the chance to be randomly selected and do not have to register right away; it is not a first-come, first-served system, according to state officials.

Those who want to pre-register can do so online here, from 5 a.m. Tuesday until 5 a.m. Wednesday. Those unable to pre-register online can call 833-431-2053 from 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Tuesday to do so.

Those who are currently on the waitlist from the first week will be automatically pre-registered to be randomly selected for an appointment, according to state officials.

Those who are randomly selected to receive a vaccine this week will be notified on Wednesday by text, email or phone call with instructions on how to finalize the appointment.

Appointments must be scheduled to receive a COVID-19 vaccine; walk-ins will not be accepted.

Pilot clinics in Blaine, Brooklyn Park

Another adjustment this week is that the pilot clinic operating in Andover last week is relocating to Blaine this week.

Those who received their first vaccine dose at the Andover clinic will receive a notification that they will now receive their second dose at the new clinic in Blaine.

Meanwhile, metro area educators, school staff and child care providers who received their first vaccine dose at the Brooklyn Center pilot clinic will return to that clinic for their second dose.

The pilot clinics operating this week are located in Blaine, Brooklyn Center, Fergus Falls, Mountain Iron, Thief River Falls, North Mankato, Rochester, Marshall, St. Cloud and St. Paul. The St. Paul pilot event will be located in the Roy Wilkins Auditorium.

This week, pilot clinics in Blaine and Brooklyn Center will serve only adults who are 65 and older.

Mass vaccination event for educators at Xcel Energy Center

Starting this week at Xcel Energy Center, the state is allocating 15,000 Moderna vaccine doses to be administered Thursday through Monday, Feb. 1 at a mass vaccination pilot event for metro area educators, school staff and child care providers.

School districts, charter schools, tribal schools and non-public school organizations will work directly with their employees to schedule appointments through the state-sponsored pilot clinics, according to state officials.

Meanwhile, child care programs will be randomly selected and will be notified if vaccines are available. Education and child care workers who have questions should contact their employer, state officials said.

KSTP's complete COVID-19 coverage

Editor's Note: Monday night, a Minnesota Department of Health spokesperson issued an update that the St. Cloud pilot clinic will remain in St. Cloud this week, instead of being in Sartell. This report has been changed to reflect that update.


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