First Minnesotans could get COVID-19 vaccine Christmas week

Published 6:30 am Wednesday, December 9, 2020

MINNEAPOLIS — The first of 183,000 Minnesotans who will get the new coronavirus vaccine in the initial wave could get their shots as early as Christmas week, Gov. Tim Walz and state health officials announced Tuesday.

Minnesota is poised to get 46,800 doses of the Pfizer vaccine next week, followed by 136,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine in the two weeks after that, for a total of 183,400 doses within the first month, although they cautioned that the information from the federal government keeps changing.

“Perhaps an early Christmas present,” the state’s infectious disease director, Kris Ehresmann, said at a briefing for reporters.

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Minnesota will follow federal guidance that means the first doses will go to people designated as Phase 1a, which means health care personnel and long-term care facility residents. The state currently expects Phase 1b to consist of essential workers, and Phase 1c to include people with high-risk medical conditions and residents 65 years old and older. But they said those classifications could change.

Details about when the general public can get the vaccine have not been determined. People who get vaccinated will get cards certifying that they’ve been immunized.

Walz said they are ready for when the vaccine is shipped to Minnesota to deliver it quickly and safely statewide.