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Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Walz expands vaccine eligibility before boost to supply

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Gov. Tim Walz on Friday announced a final expansion in vaccine eligibility to all Minnesotan 16 and older starting next week, though securing an appointment may prove difficult for much of the state.

The expansion, which will go into effect on Tuesday, comes before an anticipated increase in the state’s weekly allotment in early April that will nearly double the state’s current weekly shipment to more than 300,000 doses.

In a release, the governor’s office acknowledged that securing an appointment will be difficult before supplies from the federal government increase early next month. He urged providers to prioritize older Minnesotans, frontline workers and those with underlying health conditions.

“While all Minnesotans will become eligible next Tuesday, not every Minnesotan will be immediately able to make an appointment,” the release said. “Vaccine shipments from the federal government will continue increasing over the coming weeks, but for now demand will still exceed supply.”

Minnesota has vaccinated 80% of its people 65 and older, and at least two in every three educators, school staff and child care workers. In an effort to reach and vaccinate Black and Indigenous communities across the state, state officials will be launching a mobile vaccination unit program in the coming weeks.

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