(The Center Square) — Gov. Tim Walz announced all Minnesotans 16 years and older will be eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations beginning March 30.
The final eligibility expansion comes as the federal government has promised an increased supply of vaccines by April.
Walz has directed providers to prioritize vaccine appointments for older Minnesotans, those with underlying health conditions, and those in frontline jobs, and afterward, all eligible Minnesotans.
“Minnesotans have done a remarkable job helping our most vulnerable get vaccinated and waiting their turn. Now, as we prepare to receive more vaccine heading into April, it’s time for all Minnesotans to get in line,” Walz said in a statement. “Minnesota has been leading the nation in getting shots into arms, and we plan to continue that leadership. By expanding eligibility to all Minnesotans, we will give providers the flexibility they need to keep getting shots into arms quickly, efficiently, and equitably.”
Minnesota was ranked number one in the country this week for the percentage of vaccine doses administered to Minnesotans.
The state has given a first vaccine to 80% of seniors, the age group most likely to die from COVID-19, and has vaccinated at least two-thirds of school and child care personnel.
“Getting as many Minnesotans vaccinated as quickly as possible is how we will end this pandemic and get back to all the things we love and miss,” Minnesota Department of Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm said in a statement. “We have three safe, highly effective vaccines to get us to broad community protection and time is of the essence. We are in a race between the variants and the vaccine, and we must remain vigilant and work together so the vaccines win.”
All Minnesotans who want a vaccine can sign up for the COVID-19 Vaccine Connector to get updates on vaccine opportunities. Minnesotans can also contact their health care provider, local pharmacy, or use the Vaccine Locator Map.
Although all Minnesotans will be eligible next Tuesday, appointments will be limited as federal vaccine shipments will continue increasing over the coming weeks.
“We have already beat President [Joe] Biden’s goal of expanding eligibility to all adults by May 1. Now, if all Minnesotans get in line and take the first shot available to them, we can get all Minnesotans first doses by the end of May,” Walz said. “We could then be in an incredibly different place by June and have a beautiful Minnesota summer to look forward to. Get ready to roll up your sleeves and let’s get it done, Minnesota.”