ST. PAUL, MN (STL.News) Minnesotans have received more than one million doses of COVID-19 vaccine, Governor Tim Walz announced today. The state reported 1,016,210 doses had been administered as of today’s official report.
In all, 728,081 Minnesotans had received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine and 286,543 had completed the two-dose series. The seven-day rolling average of doses administered is now 29,705, a pace that has accelerated since Governor Walz took action to increase the rate of vaccinations across the state.
“This is a milestone day. Minnesotans have received 1 million doses of these safe, effective, live-saving vaccines,” Governor Walz said. “Every time a Minnesotan gets their shot, they are protecting themselves and moving our entire state closer to ending this pandemic. We still need more vaccine from the federal government and we have a long road ahead, but we can truly see the light at the end of the tunnel.”
Minnesota is immunizing for impact by vaccinating individuals at heightened risk of severe illness and death if they contract COVID-19, including long-term care residents and people age 65 and over. Minnesota’s healthcare workers, E-12 school personnel, and childcare providers are also eligible for the vaccine.
“We have a long way to go to ensure every Minnesotan has the opportunity to get their shot. But our most vulnerable relatives, friends, and neighbors are receiving the protection for which they’ve waited so long,” Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan said. “We are making progress and moving forward.”
The Walz-Flanagan Administration is working with healthcare providers to build out a reliable, durable network of options for all Minnesotans to get their vaccine, as soon as the federal government provides enough doses. Minnesota has mobilized health care systems, local pharmacies, federally qualified health centers, hospitals, local public health, and state-run community vaccination sites to meet Minnesotans where they are and make sure everyone will have access to a vaccine when they are eligible.
Just yesterday, the state launched the Minnesota COVID-19 Vaccine Connector, an online tool to help Minnesotans connect to that entire network and find out when, where, and how to get their COVID-19 vaccine.
Governor Walz has acted quickly to speed up administration of the vaccine around the state, ensuring medical providers are using all available doses to get shots to patients who need them:
- In mid-January, following changes in federal guidance, Minnesota Department of Health directed healthcare providers to offer vaccine to Minnesotans age 65 and over. This age group has seen nearly 90 percent of COVID-19 deaths in Minnesota.
- On Jan. 25, Gov. Walz directed healthcare providers to administer 90% of their doses within 72 hours of receiving them, and 100% within one week, in a move to speed up the administration of the vaccine. Vaccine administration markedly increased after Gov. Walz set this goal.
- Gov. Walz and other governors repeatedly pressed the federal government to release more doses of vaccine to states, a move the Biden administration embraced on Jan. 26.
- The Walz-Flanagan administration launched a community vaccination pilot program to explore how to best administer vaccine quickly and safely at state-run clinics. Given their success and vaccine demand, the state has established three permanent Community Vaccination Program sites in Duluth, Minneapolis, and Rochester to expand vaccination capacity. More than 80,000 doses have been administered at a state-run site since January 21.
- The Walz-Flanagan administration launched a Vaccine Locator map allowing Minnesotans to find healthcare providers offering vaccines in their communities. In the months ahead, most Minnesotans will get their shots from healthcare providers or pharmacies.
- Minnesota has been supporting Federally Qualified Health Clinics (FQHCs) who serve low-income and uninsured Minnesotans, as well as Minnesota’s Black, Indigenous, and Communities of Color by supplying them with the full amount of doses they are requesting to vaccinate their patient populations. On Feb. 10, Gov. Walz welcomed the Biden administration’s efforts to enhance Minnesota’s FQHC strategy by expanding distribution of vaccine to these clinics.
“We know there’s a lot of work ahead to make sure every Minnesotan has access to the vaccine,” continued Governor Walz. “COVID-19 is still with us, and Minnesotans still need to take precautions to slow the spread of the virus. We don’t have enough doses for everyone to get the vaccine right now. But when your time comes, Minnesota, roll up your sleeve, get your shot, and we’ll get to the finish line, together.”