One yr after the primary signs of COVID-19 appeared in a Minnesota resident, Gov. Tim Walz introduced a brand new timeline for vaccinations means of the summer season — when the state expects to make vaccines obtainable to most of the people.
The subsequent phases of vaccination will concentrate on individuals with sure underlying well being circumstances that make them significantly weak to the illness, and increase to extra well being circumstances and youthful individuals means of the spring.
“At this time’s a day that each one of us have been on the lookout for,” Walz mentioned throughout the Thursday afternoon announcement.
For now, vaccines are nonetheless focused at individuals 65 and older, Walz mentioned throughout the Thursday afternoon announcement. “We’ll proceed to concentrate on these seniors till we hit about 70%” of that inhabitants, the goal for herd immunity.
Primarily based on present provide of vaccines from the federal authorities to the state, “essentially the most conservative estimate is we’ll be carried out with that 70% the top of March,” he mentioned.
As of Thursday, 43% of Minnesotans 65 and older have been vaccinated, Minnesota Division of Well being Commissioner Jan Malcolm mentioned throughout the announcement.
Vaccinations for the subsequent teams may come sooner if manufacturing of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines enhance, or if the recently-approved Johnson & Johnson vaccine begins arriving within the state.
He mentioned he is extra assured within the federal authorities’s allocation of doses this month. “For 3 weeks in a row now, for the primary time, now we have been seeing precisely what our allocation was going to be,” he mentioned. “Not solely that, it has elevated every of these weeks, and now we have extra vaccines like Johnson & Johnson coming on-line.”
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine solely requires one dose and doesn’t should be saved extraordinarily chilly, Walz mentioned. It is unclear when these vaccines may very well be allotted to states.
“They’re telling us that they consider they will get 20 million doses out the top of March,” Walz mentioned. Minnesota can be allotted roughly 35,000 of these doses, he mentioned.
The vaccines which were administered within the state are already slowing down the illness, and shutdowns of companies and colleges helped reduce the influence of the worst months of the pandemic, Walz mentioned throughout the announcement.
“Our case numbers… are dropping quickly, our loss of life charges are dropping quickly, due to what you’ve gotten carried out, he mentioned. “We missed holidays, however I am telling you — we have saved lives.”
Deaths in long-term care amenities to the illness have decreased 97% since November 2020, he mentioned, because of vaccination and prevention measures.
“It is an thrilling time, Minnesota,” Walz mentioned. “We have got work to do but,” to vaccinate the remainder of the state, however gatherings may return in time for the State Truthful.
“The considered strolling down these streets at Dan Patch Boulevard with a corndog in my hand is just like the happiest thought I can think about,” he mentioned. “That’s inside our attain, if we do issues proper.”
Who will get vaccinated after seniors?
As soon as the state reaches 70% vaccination in individuals 65 and older, the subsequent priorities are individuals “at increased danger of publicity and severity of sickness,” Malcolm mentioned throughout the announcement.
With the present charge that vaccines are being delivered, right here is the state’s estimated timeline of the subsequent phases:
In April, all Minnesotans sufficiently old to obtain the vaccines and who’ve a number of well being circumstances with “significantly extreme” problems with COVID-19, together with: Sickle cell illness, Down syndrome, are immunocompromised from an lively most cancers remedy or a strong organ transplant or if they’re oxygen-dependent on account of power lung or coronary heart circumstances. 75% of the deaths in MN have been individuals on this group, Malcolm mentioned.
Additionally starting in April, vaccination of important staff will begin in meals processing plant staff. “Across the nation and right here in Minnesota, these have been a number of the largest and most extreme outbreaks that we noticed,” she mentioned.
“It is solely going to take us a matter of weeks to get means of vaccinating these teams on the present provide charge, whereas we proceed to vaccinate seniors as nicely,” Malcolm mentioned.
In April and into Might, vaccination efforts will increase to incorporate a extra broad checklist of underlying well being circumstances that put individuals at elevated danger of extreme sickness from the virus, as outlined the federal Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention, she mentioned.
On this section, Minnesotans between 45-65 years previous with one listed well being situation, or these between 18-44 with two or extra of the circumstances can be eligible for the vaccines.
Minnesotans residing in multigenerational housing can be eligible for vaccines on this stage as nicely.
In Might and into June, Minnesotans 18 and older with any of the CDC’s checklist of underlying well being circumstances and anybody between 50 and 64 turn out to be eligible, in addition to “all of the remaining important workforce classes that aren’t significantly public going through, however are outlined as important,” Malcolm mentioned throughout the announcement.
After June, “We can be to the purpose the place we’re capable of open vaccine to all Minnesotans,” Malcolm mentioned, “having labored in a scientific approach means of these at best danger of extreme sickness, hospitalization and loss of life.”
The statewide masks mandate and restrictions on gatherings and companies will stay as individuals proceed to get vaccinated.
“Proper now, what we all know is that the vaccines are terribly efficient at stopping extreme sickness,” Malcolm mentioned throughout a press name after the announcement. “We do not know all the things that we have to know concerning the influence of the vaccines on the chance of transmitting the illness to others.”
“Doing all the things that we all know works to stop transmission and stop unfold is simply critically vital in these subsequent remaining months,” Malcolm mentioned.