By WCCO-TV Staff

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A spokesperson for Gov. Tim Walz said the governor will announce Thursday that the state will administer the COVID-19 vaccine to 70% of Minnesotans over 65 before expanding eligibility to other groups.

The spokesperson said the state hopes to reach that milestone by the end of March.

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“Governor Walz is committed to giving Minnesota seniors the opportunity to be vaccinated before opening up the process more widely,” spokesperson Teddy Tschann said.

Walz is expected to provide more details on Minnesota’s evolving vaccination strategy at a press conference Thursday afternoon.

READ MORE: COVID In Minnesota: 2,454 New Cases And 12 Deaths Reported; Over 30% Of Eligible Minnesotans Are Fully Vaccinated

Also Thursday, the governor announced a community vaccination site will open at the Mall of America this week. The site will be similar to those in Minneapolis, Duluth and Rochester.

As of Wednesday, more than 770,000 people in Minnesota had received at least one dose of the vaccine. Minnesota Department of Health data shows 42.4% of people 65 and older have received at least their first dose.

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Since the start of the pandemic, the state has seen more than 480,000 positive cases and 6,443 total deaths.