At around noon today (Tues) on-line, a new group of Minnesotans will begin vying for a limited supply of COVID vaccine as the state opens eligibility to those 65 and over, plus teachers, school staff, and child care workers. But Governor Tim Walz says the current federal allotment, which also goes to health care workers and long-term-care residents not already vaccinated…

“We’re receiving about 60 thousand doses a week.   That’s it. I would anticipate there will be a lot more than 60-thousand trying to get on our website.”

Officials say Minnesotans age 65 or older can try to schedule an appointment beginning around noon at mn.gov/vaccine, but teachers and child care providers will be contacted by their employers. Governor Walz is pleading for patience, noting there will not be enough COVID vaccine “until the federal government simply moves faster.”

Vaccinations will begin Thursday by appointment only at nine pilot program sites around Minnesota: Fergus Falls, Marshall, Mountain Iron, North Mankato, Rochester, Saint Cloud, Thief River Falls, and in the Twin Cities in Anoka and Brooklyn Center.

Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm says most people in the newly-added groups will have to wait weeks — if not longer — for vaccination until the supply increases.   Malcolm says at the current rate, it will take about four-and-a-half months to vaccinate this newly-eligible group of Minnesotans.

Malcolm says:

“We don’t want people to just show up at a state vaccination location without an appointment. There is no walk-in capacity at these sites.”