(FOX 9) - Starting Tuesday at noon, some eligible Minnesotans will be able to sign up online for an appointment to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at one of the nine pilot vaccination sites that are opening across the state.
Minnesota is expanding its COVID-19 vaccination program to include people 65 years old and above, teachers and child care workers, but health officials say initial doses will be very limited.
The expansion makes more than one million additional Minnesotans eligible for a shot, but at the current pace, state health officials say vaccinating all of them will take four and a half months. Right now, Minnesota is only getting 60,000 doses a week from the federal government.
Nine community vaccination pilot sites will begin administering shots on Thursday. The pilot sites are located in Anoka, Brooklyn Center, Fergus Falls, Marshall, Mountain Iron, North Mankato, Rochester, St. Cloud and Thief River Falls.
Appointments are required to receive a shot. Anyone without an appointment should not visit a community vaccination pilot site, MDH says.
How do you make a vaccination appointment?
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. Minnesotans should attempt to make an appointment online before dialing the call center.
Available appointments will refresh every Tuesday at noon. People will have the opportunity to schedule appointments for both their first and second doses of vaccine.
Anyone who cannot immediately make an appointment may be able to sign up for a waitlist. Those on the waitlist will be notified if they should visit a vaccination pilot site for their shot. Anyone who is waitlisted, but does not receive their vaccine one week will need to sign up again the following week.
What about teachers and child care workers?
Teachers and child care providers will be notified by their employer if they’ve been selected to receive a vaccination appointment. They should not try to schedule an appointment unless their employer has contacted them with information about their appointment.
Vaccines for educators will be allocated proportionally to each region's school workforce and schools must prioritize those educators with face-to-face contact with children, health officials say.
The state teachers union says some of the biggest districts have only been allocated about 80 doses so far.
What information do you need to provide to make an appointment?
No matter how people make an appointment, MDH says they will be asked to provide the following information:
- Minnesota address
- Phone number
- Email (optional)
- Date of birth
- Health information, including underlying conditions, current illnesses, and allergies
Educators will need to show an employee ID or a paystub to prove employment when they arrive for their appointment at their assigned pilot site.