COVID-19 Vaccine Frequently Asked Questions

From Minnesota Department of Health


Minnesota is continuing to vaccinate those at highest risk of getting COVID-19, as well as those most at risk of severe disease and complications if they become infected. Adults 65 years and older are among the most vulnerable to COVID-19. Once 70% of the state’s seniors receive the vaccine, Minnesota will expand eligibility based on underlying health conditions, age, and workplace exposure risk:

  • By April, we expect vaccines will be available to Minnesotans with medical conditions that put them in the most extreme high-risk category if they get COVID-19, and certain frontline workers who are most at risk of contracting the virus.
  • By May, we expect vaccines will be available for Minnesotans with other medical conditions that put them at heightened risk, additional frontline essential workers, and Minnesotans 50 years and older living in multi-generational housing.
  • By late spring, we expect vaccines will be available for Minnesotans 16 years and older with medical conditions, all adults aged 50-64, and all other essential workforces.
  • Beginning this summer, we expect all Minnesotans will have access to the vaccine.

How were qualifying medical conditions chosen?

  • The list of high-risk conditions for the next eligibility groups was adapted from conditions listed on CDC’s People with Certain Medical Conditions.
  • Minnesota’s list includes recommendations from Minnesota’s health care providers. The list is based on current information and research for conditions that are known to put people at increased risk for severe disease.

How were qualifying essential workers chosen?

  • Essential workers were selected by CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). ACIP used the Guidance on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce that the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) publishes to help define the groups of workers. ACIP defined frontline essential workers (those included in 1b) as the subset of essential workers likely at highest risk for work-related exposure to COVID-19.
  • Sub-prioritization was guided by the risk criteria presented in the Framework for Ethical Allocation of COVID-19 Vaccine, published by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, including:
    • Risk of infection: People have higher prioritization because they work or live in settings with a higher risk of transmission occurring because SARS-CoV-2 is circulating.
    • Risk of severe morbidity and mortality: People 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): People have higher priority because they live or work in settings where transmission is more likely to occur.
    • Risk of negative societal impact: People have higher priority due to the extent that society and other people’s lives depend on them being healthy.

I think I’m an essential worker but I’m not sure given the guidance. How can I find out? Will my employer tell me?

  • If you are unsure whether your job qualifies you for a vaccine, you can check with your employer.

What is the timeline for these new groups to start getting vaccinated?

  • Based on current projections, the next group of Minnesotans eligible for a vaccine will begin getting them in April, and every Minnesotan should be able to get a vaccine by this summer. Anticipated timelines are detailed on the Who’s Getting Vaccinated webpage.
  • Anticipated timelines for phases are subject to change as vaccine supply from the federal government is adjusted in the coming weeks.

Where will I get vaccinated when I’m eligible?

  • Information about how Minnesotans eligible in future phases will get vaccinated will be shared in the coming weeks. All Minnesotans should sign up for the Minnesota COVID-19 Vaccine Connector to stay informed on their eligibility and get connected to vaccine opportunities once they become eligible.