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Vaccine pilot program begins in Minnesota

The public awaits the lengthy COVID-19 vaccine distribution process
Updated: Jan. 21, 2021 at 6:43 PM CST
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NORTH MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) — As Minnesota rolls out its COVID-19 vaccine pilot program, inoculations are on the minds of many.

Now we’re learning more about who’s up next to get the shot.

All anyone is talking about is how and when members of the public can start getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

The State of Minnesota controls the distribution of the shot after receiving it from the federal government. Right now, demand is high and supply is low.

The Mayo Clinic is waiting for the green light.

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“Mayo Clinic does not yet have approval from the state of Minnesota to proceed with vaccinating patients,” said Dr. Melanie Swift, a physician at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester.

Earlier this week, Gov. Tim Walz announced the vaccine pilot program, which is taking the next step to vaccinate teachers, child care workers and individuals over 65.

The nine locations were chosen based on geography.

“So, MDH has a find my vaccine site right now, which is where people would go to sign up for those community pods. The next signup for that is Tuesday the 26th at noon,” Swift said.

There is some important information that Mayo Clinic officials would like the public to know.

First, there isn’t a manual for how the vaccine distribution process is supposed to be done.

“A massive and complex undertaking, it really is and so these plans evolve over time. We pivot as we get information from the state and as you know the state has had to pivot pretty quickly in response to changes to federal guidance as well,” Swift said.

Second, Mayo says don’t believe that people can get you in line faster or beat the system for the COVID-19 vaccine.

“These scammers are trying to call and reach out to people who are older than 65 who are eligible in exchange for money. To get them better access to the vaccine, no one can do that, don’t fall for it.,” Swift said.

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