Gov. Walz highlights vaccine progress in long-term care

Gov. Walz visits long-term care facility to highlight vaccination efforts. Gov. Walz visits long-term care facility to highlight vaccination efforts. |  Photo: WDIO

Created: January 22, 2021 10:00 PM

Friday marked day one of Minnesota's new vaccination pilot program, making educators and people aged 65+ eligible to get their COVID-19 vaccine. As more of the older population gets vaccinated, Governor Tim Walz took time to highlight the progress at long-term care facilities in the state.

Gov. Walz and Health Commissioner Jan Malcom visited Good Samaritan Society-Ambassador in New Hope. Residents and staff there are slated to get their second doses this weekend, already having their first doses last week.

"I'm happy to tell you that compared to where we were about four to six weeks ago, we have once again seen cases in long-term care coming to more manageable range," said Commissioner Malcom Friday afternoon. She said she believes all skilled nursing facilities in Minnesota have now had their first doses, and assisted living facilities have begun vaccinations as well.

"When you have a rehabilitation center like this, where folks are coming and going, it just exacerbates that," said Walz. "I think, once again, for Minnesotans to understand that we still have a ways to go in COVID. But I think to pause, to give thanks to those who fought this on truly the front lines where it was at. And then to see the changes that are coming with the vaccine, and the implications that it means to a facility like this."

The Governor did touch on the topic of allocations, specifically from the Federal Government, saying his administration is keeping an eye on what's coming down the pipe.

"We're certainly, just like you, watching what's coming out of the federal side of the vaccine response. We're seeing changes in that. We're still trying to get clarification on what that means, what it means with doses, and how going forward it will be handled," said Walz.

"We are making progress in what was, rightly so, our first priority for vaccines as the limited supply becomes available," said Malcom.

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