MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Gov. Tim Walz is expected to announce on Friday that the state’s COVID-19 vaccination program is expanding to include all Minnesotans 16 and older starting on Tuesday.
The announcement comes as the federal government has promised an increase in vaccine supply by April.READ MORE: COVID In Minnesota: 375 New Cases Reported, Positivity Rate At 2.2%
According to spokesperson Teddy Tshcann, the state will ask providers to prioritize vaccinations for older Minnesotans, those with underlying health conditions, and those in frontline jobs. From there, the providers have the flexibility to allocate appointments to other, eligible Minnesotans.
Earlier in March, vaccine eligibility was expanded to include 1.8 million people with underlying health conditions and essential workers, weeks ahead of schedule.
At that time, the conservative estimate from the Minnesota Department of Health — which did not account for potential surges in vaccine supply in the coming weeks — was that the state would again expand eligibility at the end of April.READ MORE: COVID In Minnesota: Data Show State's Conservative Counties Have Lower Vaccination Rates, Reflecting National Trend
As of this week, almost 80% of Minnesotans age 65 and over have had at least one dose of the vaccine. The latest figures also show Minnesota has administered around 89% of the vaccines its received from the federal government. That’s more than any other state.
Nearly 1.5 million people have had at least one vaccine dose, and over 870,000 people (15.8% of state’s population) have completed their vaccine series.
The total vaccine doses administered is now at 2,246,720, with Pfizer and Moderna providing most of the vaccine doses so far. Johnson and Johnson’s vaccine was given emergency approval in late February.MORE NEWS: COVID In Minnesota: Positivity Rate Inches Up To 2%, With 340 Newly Confirmed Cases
Walz will make the official announcement on Friday at 11:30 a.m. You can watch it live on CBSN Minnesota.