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St Paul (KROC AM News) - Hundreds of thousands of additional Minnesotans will become eligible for a COVID vaccination shot beginning Wednesday.

Governor Tim Walz says the decision to expand vaccine eligibility was made after it was determined the state had reached its goal of vaccinating 70% of Minnesotans 65 years of age and older this week.

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz

Walz says the expansion is several weeks ahead of schedule.

More than 1.8 million Minnesotans will become eligible to receive a vaccine beginning this week:

  • Phase 1b Tier 2 populations include:
  • Minnesotans with specific underlying health conditions: Sickle cell disease, Down syndrome, those in cancer treatment or immunocompromised from organ transplant, oxygen-dependent chronic lung and heart conditions (COPD & CHF)
  • Targeted essential workers: Food processing plant workers
  • Minnesotans with rare conditions or disabilities that put them at higher risk of severe illness
  • Phase 1b Tier 3 populations include:
  • Minnesotans age 45 years and older with one or more underlying medical conditions identified by the CDC
  • Minnesotans age 16 years and older with two or more underlying medical conditions*
  • Minnesotans age 50 years and older in multi-generational housing
  • Essential frontline workers: Agricultural, airport staff, additional child care workers not previously eligible, correctional settings, first responders, food production, food retail, food service, judicial system workers, manufacturing, public health workers, public transit, and U.S. Postal Service workers

Walz says providers have been directed to prioritize people in the first of these phases, which includes Minnesotans with specific underlying health conditions; food processing plant workers; and Minnesotans with rare conditions or disabilities that put them at higher risk of severe illness. Providers will then have the flexibility to provide available appointments to other eligible Minnesotans.

All Minnesotans who have not received a vaccine should sign up for the COVID-19 Vaccine Connector to get regular updates on vaccine availability and eligibility. In some cases, health care providers or employers will have more information for patients or employees on vaccine availability.

News update:  Record warm weather in southeast Minnesota.

 

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