Minnesota Governor Tim Walz had set an original COVID-19 vaccination goal of having 70% of adults 65 and older vaccinated before advancing to the next phases of shots. Yesterday Walz announced that goal had been met, and that the State was advancing vaccine eligibility forward to include the next two phases.

The first wave of vaccine eligible Minnesotans included health care workers and long-term care residents. The second phase of vaccinations included educators and adults 65-and-older. Now it's time for the next two phases.

Next Week's Group of Vaccine Eligible Minnesotans

  • People with specific underlying health conditions: Sickle cell disease, Down Syndrome, or oxygen-dependent chronic lung or heart conditions, and those who are in active cancer treatment or immunocompromised from organ transplant
  • Targeted essential workers: Food processing plant employees.
  • People with rare conditions or disabilities that put them at higher risk.
  • People age 45 and older with ONE or more underlying medical conditions; or, age 16 and over with TWO or more underlying medical conditions:
    • Active cancer
    • Chronic kidney disease
    • COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
    • Diabetes - Type 1 or 2
    • Down Syndrome
    • Heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies
    • Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from solid organ transplant, HIV, bone marrow disease, chronic steroids for more than 30 days, immunodeficiency disease, or taking immunosuppressive medications
    • Obesity - body mass index (BMI) greater than 30 kg/m2
    • Pregnancy
    • Sickle cell disease
  • People 50+ in multi-generational housing.
  • Essential frontline workers: Agricultural, airport staff, additional child care workers not previously eligible, correctional settings, first responders, food production, food retail, food service, judicial system workers, manufacturing, public health workers, public transit, Postal Service workers.

The Next Vaccine Phase(s)

  • 16+ with any underlying medical condition (see above list).
  • Age 50-64 (regardless of health condition).
  • All other essential workforces: Transportation and logistics, finance, housing/shelter construction, IT/communications, energy, media, legal, public safety, water, and wastewater.

What About The Rest of Us?

The Minnesota Department of Health says by this summer every Minnesotan who wants a shot will be able to get one!

Everybody, let's do a shot!

LOOK: Answers to 30 common COVID-19 vaccine questions

While much is still unknown about the coronavirus and the future, what is known is that the currently available vaccines have gone through all three trial phases and are safe and effective. It will be necessary for as many Americans as possible to be vaccinated in order to finally return to some level of pre-pandemic normalcy, and hopefully these 30 answers provided here will help readers get vaccinated as soon they are able.

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