High level key messages
- There are three principles that will guide our distribution of the vaccine.
- Immunize for impact, and maximizing immediate health benefit, reduce death and serious illness, and minimize the harm created by COVID-19
- Equitable distribution and access, making sure no procedural or structural issues impact access to the vaccine among any particular group or population. And we want Minnesotans in every corner and every community to know they can trust the process, the safety, and the effectiveness of the vaccine.
- Transparency and sharing information as quickly as possible with Minnesotans.
- Minnesotans can be confident that the infrastructure in Minnesota is in place to deliver a COVID-19 vaccine quickly, equitably, and safely to Minnesotans in every corner the state.
How the priority groups were selected
- We know that especially in the earliest weeks of vaccine distribution there will not be nearly enough vaccine to meet demand for the groups identified as top priorities in Phase 1a, not to mention the many other groups that we know have legitimate arguments for deserving early vaccines.
- The National Academies of Science released a report on framework for equitable allocation of COVID-19 vaccine. With that guidance in mind, the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practice (ACIP) made recommendations for priority groups who should receive early limited doses.
- For phase 1a, the first phase, they said health care personnel and long-term care residents should be included.
- MDH will follow ACIP guidance, and we worked with our MN Vaccine Allocation Advisory Workgroup to take ACIP guidance and apply it to MN.
- Their guidance reflects an emphasis on using the early, small amounts of vaccine to make the maximum possible impact (“Immunize for Impact”) on protecting our most vulnerable and exposed – including health care workers and long-term care residents.
- We prioritized the first group for Minnesota even more by reviewing the risk criteria presented in that national Framework for Ethical Allocation of COVID-19 Vaccine, published by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. The risk criteria considered were:
- Risk of infection: Individuals have higher prioritization because they work or live in settings with a higher risk of disease transmission occurring because COVID-19 is circulating.
- Risk of severe morbidity and mortality: Individuals who are older and that have comorbid conditions are at higher risk of severe outcomes and death.
- Risk of transmitting to others (at work and at home): Individuals have higher priority because the live or work in settings where transmission is more likely to occur.
- Risk of negative societal impact: Individuals have higher priority due to the extent which society and other people’s lives depend on them being healthy.
- As you can see, it’s not just the risk to the individual, it’s also about risk to very vulnerable groups that a person serves that gets taken into account.
- Minnesota has identified three sub-priority groups. We have guidance posted on our website with more details (will be posted at 1:30 p.m.): COVID-19 Vaccine Information for Health Professionals (https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/vaccine/index.html).
How vaccine will be distributed
- Initial vaccines will be given in closed settings – we’re bringing the vaccine to the priority groups. There is not a “list” that Minnesotans need to get on to get vaccine. Since phase 1a is based on employment and place of residence, people eligible for this category will be contacted by their employer or the facility where they live, or possibly local public health, to let them know when vaccine is available to them.
- Vaccine will go directly to providers who are enrolled with us to give COVID-19 vaccine.
Find more information on COVID-19 vaccines at COVID-19 Vaccine Information for Health Professionals (https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/vaccine/index.html)