Governor Tim Walz on Thursday announced a timeline for eligibility for all Minnesotans to receive their COVID-19 vaccinations.

Walz says Minnesota will expand vaccine eligibility after 70-percent of adults 65 years of age and older are vaccinated–likely by the end of March. After that, Minnesotans with certain medical conditions, food processing workers and some “targeted essential workers” will be next in line for the vaccines.

State Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm says the expansion will first cover eligible Minnesotans “if they have sickle-cell disease, down syndrome, are in active cancer treatments, are immunocompromised, specifically from solid organ transplants, or are oxygen-dependent, chronic lung and heart condition sufferers.”

Walz is hoping events like the State Fair will go on as planned if things stay on the right track and he said at a press conference Thursday afternoon that “the thought of being walking down those streets at Dan Patch Boulevard with a corn dog in my hand, is like the happiest thought that I can imagine. That is within our reach, that is within our reach if we do things right.”

Walz is asking “if you’re young and healthier and you can work from home, wait and let some others in line, just do that courteous Minnesota thing and let a few others get in line. Your time will come up, and it will come up faster than you think.”

Republicans say the expansion is a step in the right direction, but are still critical that the Walz administration is making the process “overly complex with confusing timelines and invasive signup forms.”

(Minnesota News Network)