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CLOSER LOOK: Minnesota’s new vaccine eligibility timeline

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Man receives first dose of vaccine from Hunt's Silver Lake Drug in Rochester

(KTTC) -- An answer to the "when will I get my vaccine" question became a little clearer Thursday.

Gov. Tim Walz laid out a new timeline showing the next priority group could be getting COVID-19 vaccine by early spring.

For the general public without pre-existing conditions, he expects it could be as late as the end of the summer but added that additional doses could speed up the process.

"We don't want people driving around. We want this to be as easy and close to possible," Walz said. "We know that in this time of scarcity, it has felt like The Hunger Games because everybody wants in."

"Every single governor in this country is hearing the same things," he said. "Why can't we get it out faster? Why am I waiting in line? Why does it seem confusing? It's simply a supply and demand issue folks."

Addressing the supply issue, Walz calls the timeline a conservative estimate. The not yet approved Johnson & Johnson vaccine was not accounted for on the current model.

"Everything I see leads me to believe it is not going to be less. It's going to be more which means the timeline moves to the left and accelerates," Walz said.

The governor also thanks Minnesotans for their sacrifices to save lives during the pandemic.

"We followed the science. We made tough decisions. I want to be very clear. This has been painful," Walz said. "This is time for us to dig deep and let's finish this thing."

The governor and MDH commissioner both urge Minnesotans to continue to follow basic health guidelines - even after getting both doses due to unanswered questions about variants and the possible ability to spread the disease to others even from someone who is vaccinated.

Malcolm also wanted to remind people there is still a lot of virus out in the state, and we're seeing higher case numbers near state lines.

Alex Tejada

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