MN seniors 65 and older given 24-hour window to sign up for vaccine lottery

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After a rough start last week, Governor Tim Walz announced on Monday updates to the state’s efforts to test the concept of COVID-19 community vaccination clinics. Last week, more than 13,300 Minnesotans were vaccinated at nine community clinics around the state. While the state continues to face a crippling vaccine supply shortage, Governor Walz has directed the state’s efforts toward preparing for the day supply meets demand.

“This is about having the infrastructure in place to be ready when the federal government finally begins to send us more vaccine,” Governor Walz said. “Every shot in the arm is another step toward crushing COVID and ending this pandemic. And we’re going to get the vaccine we do have into arms quickly in Minnesota – whether that’s a few thousand doses or many more.”

Updates to Registration Process for Adults 65 Years of Age and Older:

The State of Minnesota announced updates to the registration process for the second week of the COVID-19 vaccination pilot program. The updated process accounts for the anticipated high demand for appointments online and at the call center and allows for more equitable and orderly access to appointments by eliminating the first-come, first-served system.

Minnesotans age 65 and older will now have a 24-hour window of time beginning at 5 am Tuesday to pre-register for a randomized opportunity to get an appointment. Signing up for the pre-registration list means you will have a chance to be randomly selected, so you do not have to register right away: it is not a first-come, first-serve system. 

It is strongly encouraged that participants pre-register online at website will be open for pre-registering from 5 am Tuesday, January 26 until 5 am on Wednesday, January 27. If you are unable to register online, you may call 833-431-2053 to sign up. The call center will be open from 9 am to 7 pm on Tuesday, January 26 for those that are unable to use the website to register. 

Due to the high demand for vaccine appointments, Minnesotans are encouraged to make appointments online if at all possible and if the call center line is busy, try calling again later.

Everyone who is currently on the waitlist from the first week will be automatically pre-registered to be randomly selected for an appointment.

Minnesotans can only sign up for the pre-registration list once. The registration system will automatically remove duplicate entries and you cannot transfer your appointment to someone else. If you are selected and cannot use your appointment, another Minnesotan on the pre-registration list will be randomly selected for that appointment.

If you are randomly selected to receive a vaccine this week, you will be notified on Wednesday, January 27 by text, email, or phone with instructions on how to finalize your appointment. If you elect to receive a phone call, please be certain to answer your phone as, due to time constraints in filling appointments, reservationists will make two contact attempts.

Appointments are required to receive a shot. Minnesotans without an appointment should not visit a community vaccination pilot clinic. No walk-ins will be accepted, and anyone with the intention of walking in for an appointment will be asked to leave and given information on how to sign up for an appointment. Minnesotans who make an appointment should arrive at their assigned pilot clinic no earlier than 15 minutes before their appointment to ensure social distancing.

Only about 8,000 doses of the vaccine will be available to Minnesotans age 65 and over at the pilot community clinics this week. Demand will outpace supply, and Minnesotans are encouraged to remain patient for their shot as we wait for the federal government to provide more vaccine.

Mass Vaccination Pilot Event for Educators, School Staff and Child Care Providers:

The State announced a mass vaccination pilot event for metro area educators, school staff and child care providers at the Xcel Energy Center this week. The state is allocating 15,000 Moderna vaccine doses to be administered Thursday, January 28 through Monday, February 1 for this event. 

To adjust for the opening of the new metro clinic, the two other pilot clinics in the metro area will serve only adults 65 years of age and older this week. In addition to the metro clinic, Greater Minnesota clinics will also continue to serve education and child care workers this week. 

These clinics are not open to walk-ups. School districts, charter schools, tribal schools, and nonpublic school organizations will work directly with employees to secure an appointment through the state-sponsored pilot clinics. Child care programs are randomly selected and will be notified if vaccines are available. Education and child care workers who have questions should work with their employer.

Metro area educators, school staff and child care providers who received their first dose at the Brooklyn Center clinic will return to that clinic for their second dose. The Andover clinic has been moved to Blaine. Those who received their first dose at the Andover clinic will receive a notification that they will now receive their second dose at the new clinic in Blaine. 

Updates to Pilot Clinic Locations:

The pilot clinic operating in Andover last week is relocating to Blaine this week. The pilot clinics operating this week are located in Blaine, Brooklyn Center, Fergus Falls, Mountain Iron, Thief River Falls, Sartell, North Mankato, Rochester, Marshall and St. Paul. 

This week, pilot clinics in Blaine and Brooklyn Center will serve only adults 65 years of age and older and the new pop-up clinic at Xcel Energy Center will serve only educators, school staff, and child care providers from the Twin Cities metro.

Information provided by the Office of Governor Tim Walz.