By David Schuman

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minnesota and its healthcare systems are working this weekend to figure out how to keep up its supplies of COVID-19 vaccine.

Gov. Tim Walz says for four months, Minnesota planned its vaccination rollout based on an assurance from the federal government.

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“They told us do not plan for your second doses. You don’t need to hold them,” he said Friday. “We are holding them in a storehouse in reserve and we’ll send them to you.”

Now, Walz says he’s learned there are no reserves. He’s calling it a catastrophe that deserves to be prosecuted.

“I have been frustrated at times beyond belief, but this is one is so far beyond the pale to be almost unimaginable,” Walz said.

The Department of Health told WCCO Saturday that this week’s allocation hasn’t changed, but it’s unclear what the impact will be of not receiving the federal reserve supply.

Officials are waiting on information from the CDC and Department of Health and Human Services.

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On a positive note, Walz says skilled nursing facilities will complete their vaccinations Monday, and long-term care facilities will do the same by the end of the month.

He says he’s losing sleep over the possibility of people receiving a first dose without there being enough supply for a second.

There hasn’t been much research done on the subject.

“The way I understand the science behind this [is] whenever you get that second dose, you do have immunity,” Walz said. “It’s not as if we wasted all these first doses and if they don’t get them within 21 days all of those are for naught. It’s not true.”

The Department of Health says with only one dose, there could be greater potential for mutations to occur in the virus.

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Walz says he’s also looked into buying doses directly from Pfizer and Moderna, but it would be too expensive if the companies would even agree to it.

David Schuman