SAINT PAUL, Minn. – Today, the Minnesota Department of Health launched a new COVID-19 vaccine pilot program – in partnership with local public health and school districts – including a clinic location in Rochester. The program will initially serve adults 65 years of age or older, as well as prekindergarten through grade 12 educators, school staff, and child care workers.
Rep. Tina Liebling (DFL – Rochester) and Rep. Liz Boldon (DFL – Rochester) hope the pilot program will lead to a broader rollout of the vaccine in Minnesota communities once it is available in larger quantities.
“The supply of vaccine is still very limited right now, but this effort will help prepare us for mass vaccination clinics, which we will hopefully establish quickly once the state has a large enough supply of the vaccine,” said Rep. Liebling, chair of the House Health Finance & Policy Committee. “I look forward to hearing about Minnesotans’ experience with this project and their suggestions to improve the system so we can eventually distribute the vaccine in greater numbers for a much greater impact in our battle with COVID-19.”
"While the recent development of this pilot program is certainly a sign for optimism, there will likely be some kinks to work out, due to the high demand and limited supply of vaccines right now," said Rep. Boldon. "This is one of many critical steps our state will take in our fight against COVID-19. I hope that the pilot program helps us understand what works and what doesn’t as we expand the vaccination rollout in the future. We know getting as many people vaccinated, as quickly as possible, puts us on the path to getting COVID-19 behind us."
Appointments are required to receive a shot. Minnesotans age 65 and older can make appointments by visiting mn.gov/vaccine or by calling 612-426-7230 or toll free, 1-833-431-2053. Due to limited supplies of the vaccine and high traffic to the website, Minnesotans are asked to be patient. They should attempt to make an appointment online before dialing the call center. Minnesotans who cannot immediately make an appointment may be able to sign up for a waitlist.
Available appointments will refresh every Tuesday at noon. Minnesotans will have the opportunity to schedule appointments for both their first and second doses of the vaccine. Educators and child care providers, with few exceptions, will work directly with their employer to receive instructions on how to secure a vaccination appointment and should not try to schedule an appointment unless their employer has contacted them with information about their appointment. More information on scheduling can be found at Find My Vaccine.