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

Essentia announces next vaccination tiers.


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

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 vaccines will move into Tier 3, composed of people ages 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. Essentia Health will return to a randomization process, pulling eligible patients who are on MyChart or on the wait list, as it works 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. They can self-schedule their appointment through MyChart or by calling 833-494-0836.

Visit https://www.essentiahealth.org/covid-19/covid-19-vaccine-information/?utm_source=vanity&utm_medium=traditional&utm_campaign=fy21-system-covid19-vaccine for more information about vaccines.

Nancy Vogt is editor of the Pineandlakes Echo Journal, a weekly newspaper that covers eight communities in the Pequot Lakes-Pine River areas - from Nisswa to Hackensack and Pequot Lakes to Crosslake.

She started as editor of the Lake Country Echo in July 2006, and continued in that role when the Lake Country Echo and the Pine River Journal combined in September 2013 to become the Pineandlakes Echo Journal. She worked for the Brainerd Dispatch from 1992-2006 in various roles.

She covers Nisswa, Pequot Lakes, Lake Shore and Crosslake city councils, as well as writes feature stories, news stories and personal columns (Vogt's Notes). She also takes photos at community events.

Contact her at nancy.vogt@pineandlakes.com or 218-855-5877 with story ideas or questions. Be sure to leave a voicemail message!
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