MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The state says nearly all Minnesotans should have access to a COVID-19 vaccine by this summer.
That’s the end goal of a new timeline the health department released today.READ MORE: Seniors Still Frustrated, Waiting For Vaccines As Minnesota Looks To Next Phase
The first step is vaccinating 70% of Minnesotans 65 or older. The state thinks it can happen by the end of March.
After that, more Minnesotans will gradually become eligible.
Still, some say other states seem to be vaccinating families faster and wonder how Minnesota stacks up.
The line for vaccines wrapped around the Minneapolis Convention Center Thursday.
A promising sight to some but for Julie Carver, it’s frustrating.
“My mom still does not have an appointment,” said Carver. “We’ve just really hit stumbling blocks.”
After weeks of trying every avenue, she still can’t get her 80-year-old mother a vaccine appointment.
“For us as a family it’s really hard to watch the frustration and the anxiety mount in my parents,” said Carver.
Carver says her elderly relatives in three other states have all been vaccinated.
She wonders why not her mom.
“It just doesn’t feel acceptable,” said Carver.READ MORE: Next In Line For Vaccine Will Be Minnesotans With Certain Underlying Conditions, Food Processing Workers
Roughly 15% of people in Minnesota and Wisconsin have received at least one dose of the vaccine, which is not as good as the Dakotas but is similar to neighbors like Iowa.
In Alaska though, roughly 21% of the population has at least one dose, the highest of any state.
Despite video showing long lines for vaccines in Georgia, just over 11% have at least one shot.
Gov. Tim Walz says 43% of Minnesotans over 65 have had at least one dose
The goal is to vaccinate 70% before opening it up to the next group.
But at the rate Minnesota is going it could take 4-5 weeks to get all seniors at least one shot.
“I know that day will come but it’s not soon enough for our folks,” said Carver.
Once most seniors get their shot, the state will move to Minnesotans with a specific list of high-risk conditions, including Down syndrome and cancer.
Workers at food processing plants will also be eligible.
In late spring, vaccinations will open up to other high-risk Minnesotans, and anyone 50 or older.MORE NEWS: COVID In Minnesota: MDH Reports 996 More Positive Cases And 7 More Deaths
More essential workers will gradually become eligible as well, before vaccines become available for the general public this summer.