Minnesota 1 of 4 states in pilot group to plan roll out of COVID-19 vaccine

Minnesota is one of four states selected by the federal government to be part of a pilot group looking at how to roll out a COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available, state health officials said Monday. 

Minnesota Department of Health Infectious Disease Director Kris Ehresmann said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has invited Minnesota to be one of the states to serve as a leader for the country in how to ration and distribute initial doses of the coronavirus vaccine, since there will not be enough doses for everyone right off the bat. 

“We were selected because of the strength of our immunization program and because of our history of outreach to various communities,” Ehresmann said. 

In general, Ehresmann said the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, a group established by the CDC, releases broad guidance on the prioritization of vaccines, which state health officials will then have to make specific to Minnesota. President Donald Trump has also asked experts from the National Academy of Medicine to weigh in as well. 

Ehresmann said Minnesota has already begun planning for when there is a COVID-19 vaccine. 

“It won’t be a situation in which there will be enough vaccine for everyone right away, it will be a process,” Ehresmann said. “People need to be aware that will be the case.”