VACCINE ALLOCATION UPDATE
Many in our community have expressed their frustration with not being able to get a COVID-19 vaccine. I share your frustration, and appreciate your patience and understanding while our public health experts work as quickly as possible to get the vaccine out to those most at-risk. The current weekly allocation Minnesota is getting from the federal government is 68,000 doses. Unless we receive more weekly allotments, it's estimated to take four months to finish the first priority group.
Although Minnesota has not officially moved into the next phase of the distribution process, MDH has accelerated plans to make the vaccine available more broadly. These plans include:
- the launch of the community COVID-19 vaccine pilot program and;
- a directive to hospitals and other vaccination partners that they can use their leftover doses (those still available after vaccinating front-line health workers) for their patients over the age of 65.
The reality we are facing is that both of these initiatives are still very limited in scope because of the limited supply of the vaccine. I’ve been in frequent communication with Minnesota Department of Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm and MDH to urge swift action to increase incoming doses from the federal government, and to ensure that we’re maximizing efforts to get shots into as many arms as quickly as we can. We must be strategic and efficient with our limited supply as we work to follow the CDC’s recommendations.
The good news is last week, we learned the federal government will be increasing our state’s allotment of the vaccine. I’m hopeful we can quickly increase distribution and help defeat this pandemic. Vaccine locations can be found here. Due to the limited amount of vaccine, appointments may not be available.
Please keep an eye on the MDH website (https://mn.gov/covid19/vaccine/) for the most up-to-date information.
DR. OSTERHOLM WEIGHS IN ON PANDEMIC
However, we must remain vigilant and continue our efforts to slow the spread of the virus. Dr. Osterholm shared several concerns with the House Health Committee this week, including the emergence of new COVID-19 variants that could mean that the worst of the pandemic is still in front of us. He also stressed the importance of continued mask wearing, physical distancing and avoiding crowds, and discussed the need for individuals to protect their mental health. You can watch the presentation here.
COVID-19 TESTING REMAINS CRITICAL
Testing remains a critical part of our strategy combating COVID-19, and there are currently more than 20 testing sites located around the state, all of which offer no-barrier access to testing. Saliva testing remains available for 33B residents and families at two locations: the Minneapolis Convention Center and MSP Airport. Appointments can be made here.
Keep in Touch
Please be assured that I will continue to monitor this situation to ensure that we are moving as quickly as possible to get the vaccine out to those who are most at risk.
If you have questions about getting your vaccine, or input on distribution efforts, always feel free to share those with me at rep. email@example.com or 651-296-4315.
Have a safe weekend and stay warm!
It’s an honor to represent you in the Minnesota House of Representatives.