Minnesotans 16 and older now eligible for COVID-19 vaccine

Tuesday, Gov. Tim Walz and former governor Tim Pawlenty will be publicly receiving their COVID-19 vaccines to mark expanded eligibility in Minnesota.

Starting Tuesday, all Minnesotans over the age of 16 are eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine.

Minnesota joins more than a dozen states opening up vaccine access this week.

However, health officials have been reminding people that just because they are eligible does not mean they will be next in line. State leaders said it will take time for supply to meet demand and high risk groups will continue to be the priority when it comes to getting people vaccinated.

Additionally, state leaders say the fight against COVID isn’t over.

"The thaw is here but in Minnesota, we know better than to let our guard down at the first sign of spring," Walz said. "I myself was in quarantine last week after having been exposed to COVID-19, serving as a important reminder that the virus is still very much with us."

Walz said the reason the state is able to open up eligibility is because of an increase in the production of vaccines nationally.

Health officials recently said the state has received about 330,000 doses of vaccines weekly but that that number is expected to increase by about 100,000 after this week.

Walz said he is urging Minnesotans to do their part and get their shot.

"Minnesotans need to get vaccinated," Walz said. "Getting vaccinated will protect you and your loved ones. Getting vaccinated will get us back to the places we love and the people we miss. Getting vaccinated is how we end this pandemic."

Minnesotans 16 and older are able to start scheduling their appointments Tuesday but those appointments may still be weeks out.

Learn more about scheduling appointments here.