Published on March 10, 2021

Essentia Health moves into next tier of COVID-19 vaccinations in Minnesota

Now that Minnesota has vaccinated more than 70% of its 65-plus population against COVID-19, Gov. Tim Walz has expanded vaccine eligibility.

Beginning today, Essentia Health and other systems across the state are cleared to begin immunizing those in Tier 2 of Phase 1B, including people with specific underlying health conditions (sickle cell disease, Down syndrome, active cancer treatment, immunocompromised from an organ transplant, oxygen-dependent chronic lung or heart conditions); essential workers in food-processing plants; and those with rare conditions or disabilities that put them at higher risk of severe illness.

This smaller group is expected to take about a week to work through, after which we will move into Tier 3, comprised of people aged 45 and older with one or more of the following underlying medical conditions, or 16 and older with two or more underlying medical conditions:

  • Active cancer
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • COPD
  • Diabetes (Type 1 or 2)
  • Heart conditions (heart failure, coronary artery disease or cardiomyopathies)
  • Immunocompromised state from HIV, bone marrow disease, chronic steroids for more than 30 days, immunodeficiency disease or taking immunosuppressive medications
  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy

Tier 3 also includes Minnesotans at least 50 years old in multi-generational housing, as well as essential frontline workers in agriculture, airport staff, additional child care workers not previously eligible, correctional settings, first responders, food production, food retail, food service, judicial system workers, manufacturing, public health workers, public transit and U.S. Postal Service workers.

Essentia Health has begun notifying patients through MyChart and by phone that they are eligible to schedule their vaccination as part of the next tier. We will return to a randomization process, pulling eligible patients who are on MyChart or on the wait list as we work through notifications for this next group.

In addition to Tiers 2 and 3, which include about 1.8 million Minnesotans, people who are at least 65 remain eligible for the vaccine.

Those folks can self-schedule their appointment through MyChart or by calling (833) 494-0836.

Learn more about COVID-19 vaccines at Essentia Health.

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