MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minnesota is closing in on delivering one million doses of COVID-19 vaccines.
Right now the state is in phase 1B, which includes people over 65 and educators. But Dr. Anthony Fauci is optimistic the rollout could speed up nationwide. He believes the general population will have access to vaccine in a few months.
“I was hoping that would be by the end of April, having gone through all of the priorities,” Fauci said. “That timeline will probably be prolonged maybe into mid-to-late May and early June, and that’s fine.”
Currently demand great outpaces supply. Minnesota health officials said earlier this month it could take 16 weeks to vaccinate all of the state’s seniors.
Educator Nick Hooper is still waiting to have access.
“I was under the impression with the new administration, the Biden administration, states were going to know three weeks out of how many vaccines,” Hooper said.
A spokesperson for the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) told WCCO the state still gets a one-week notice of how many vaccine doses will be coming in. MDH Commissioner Jan Malcolm said Tuesday that so far they are not updating the vaccine rollout timeline, but are getting signs that it will speed up.
“The federal confidence that the supply chain will open up further is certainly welcome,” Malcolm said.
She said the state is prepared to administer vaccines if the federal supply of vaccines increases rapidly.
“They certainly are forecasting to us that we can and should be planning for more robust supply, which is good,” Malcolm said.
An MDH spokesperson says all health care workers and residents in long-term care facilities should receive the opportunity for the first dose of the vaccine by the end of February.
Dr. Fauci said he believes it will be around late summer before everyone who wants a vaccine will get one.
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