COVID-19 vaccinations now underway in Minnesota

COVID-19 vaccines are now being administered across Minnesota.  

Thera Witte, a nurse at the Minneapolis VA hospital, was the first person in the Twin Cities metro and one of the first in the state to receive the vaccine.

Witte said her coworkers cheered for her as she got her shot on Tuesday morning. 

"Everyone is feeling really hopeful about this, that this is the beginning of the end, the light at the end of the tunnel," she said.

Witte spoke at a press confenerence after receiving the first dose of the vaccine, along with Gov. Tim Walz and other health officials. 

"Today, it feels very real," Walz said of the latest development in the fight against COVID-19. 

Walz said he will get the vaccine when its his turn. 

"I will take the vaccine when my time is up," the governor said. "I am not in any of the high risk categories and I've said it once before, I'm pretty certain the public doesn't prioritize us (politicians) as essential workers."

Monday morning, a critical care nurse in New York City became the first person in the United States to receive the shot. Several other states have also begun vaccinating health care workers and those most at-risk after doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine were distributed nationwide on Monday. 

Minnesota received its initial shipment of the vaccine on Monday as well. Gov. Tim Walz was on hand when the first delivery arrived at the Minneapolis VA, personally inspecting about 3,000 doses and making sure all the protocols were followed. 

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Three other medical centers in Minnesota also received vaccine shipments on Monday with about 50,000 doses expected in the coming days.

Many health care workers are still being trained on vaccine procedures, so the majority of vaccinations aren’t expected to begin until next week 

TIMELINE: When the COVID-19 vaccine will be distributed in Minnesota

State health officials say 183,000 Minnesotans will be vaccinated by the end of the month.