The new guidelines are meant to vaccinate more people. But Minnesota health experts say supply has not increased.
ST PAUL, Minnesota – Just a day after the federal government unexpectedly changed its vaccination advice, the Minnesota Department of Health is updating lawmakers on how it plans to move forward.
On Wednesday morning, the Commissioner for Finance and Policy on Health and Human Services, two MDH experts, said there was now more uncertainty, said Jan Malcolm and infectious disease director Kris Ehresmann, who said the new approach. This means that millions of Minnesota people will qualify for vaccination faster. But there was not enough quantity
“The bottom line is that now we have a lot of people who are enthusiastic about vaccinations and we don̵7;t need any more vaccines,” Ehresmann said.
MDH said it plans to vaccinate another important group in early February, including people aged 75 and older.The new guidelines include people 65 and older, as well as anyone with 14 underlying health conditions. -64 for a total of 2.2 million.
“Even if we were allocated twice that meant we still had to take about 19 weeks to reach this entire population,” Ehresmann said.
Commissioner Malcolm said there are advantages to vaccination in a broader group – easier for people to understand and fewer questions about who is in the group, however, MDH remains on making the process. It is orderly and undermines people’s expectations as the demand and supply of vaccines remain mismatched.
“We have planned for an expansion,” Malcom said. “We just planned for an expansion in February, not tomorrow, as part of a juggling that will be done in the coming days.
MDH also said the new guidelines especially affect occupational-critical groups such as educators and first responders. They are expected to be vaccinated soon, but are now “in the air”.
The same health experts also said they needed written advice from the president-elect Joe Biden’s team on how to deal with the vaccine rollout.