Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz announced on Friday that the state’s COVID-19 vaccination program will expand next week to include all Minnesotans ages 16 or over.
The announcement comes as the federal government has promised an increase in vaccine supply in April. The eligibility will expand starting next Tuesday.
While many more Minnesotans will be eligible for the shots next week, 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.
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 it’s received from the federal government. That’s more than any other state.
More than 1.5 million people have had at least one vaccine dose and over 900,000 people (16.2% of the state’s population) have completed their vaccine series.
Health officials say letting our guard down could prevent us from reaching the finish line. They are encouraging Minnesotans to continue to wear masks, practice socials distancing and get tested.