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‘WHEN AND WHERE?’: New resource for Minnesotans alerts you to vaccine eligibility

Minnesotan at mass vaccination site

(FOX 47) -- With new options for the vaccine seemingly popping up every day, people remain confused about where they can sign up for a vaccine or if they are even eligible.

The Minnesota Department of Health's (MDH) Vaccine Connector Tool is a good way to find those answers.

Through this new sign up program, the state hopes to identify who needs the vaccine. It even has translators to better access underrepresented communities.

Even after connecting people to a vaccination site, there is still the problem of limited supply. Minnesota has been receiving just under 90,000 doses a week from the federal government according the MDH commissioner Jan Malcolm.

"That is less than 1 percentage point of the doses that we need for all Minnesotans to get vaccinated," Malcolm said. "The supply is slowly building. It's frustrating."

Even so, the new vaccine connector site can help you sign up ahead of time if you are 18 or older. That's not all it does.

"This tool will help people know when they are eligible to receive their vaccine and connect them to the doors they can knock on to get vaccinated," said Tarek Tomes, Minnesota IT commissioner.

"We can then reach out to you, alert you when you're eligible, help connect you to resources to schedule an appointment and notify you if there are vaccination opportunities close to where you are," Malcolm said.

Through the website or phone number, (833) 431-2053, anyone can sign up for free by providing basic info.

If you are a senior who has already signed up for one of the state's three mass vaccination clinics, you do not need this tool. However, if you have yet to sign up, this is another option to get your name on the list.

Some sites, such as Rochester Community Pharmacy, are taking signups, but not yet receiving doses. The state's goal is to finish priority group 1B as soon as possible.

"We definitely do hope that all 65 plus will have had the opportunity for the first shot at least by the end of March," Malcolm said.

The MDH commissioner did say that shipping delays have impacted the state's vaccine supply which should be slowly ramping up with more federal doses allocated to all states.

For now, state leaders advise signing up, checking your email or staying close to your phone and most importantly, having patience.

Alex Tejada

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