What New Vaccine Eligibility Rules Mean for Cook CountyMar 11, 2021 10:42AM ● By Editor
Minnesota Governor Tim Walz on Tuesday announced a significant expansion in vaccine eligibility. This comes as the State of Minnesota reaches its goal of 70% of those ages 65+ receiving at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine statewide. Newly eligible groups include:
Phase 1B Tier 2
- Minnesotans with specific underlying health conditions: Sickle cell disease, Down syndrome, those in cancer treatment or immunocompromised from organ transplant, oxygen-dependent chronic lung and heart conditions (COPD & CHF)
- Targeted essential workers: Food processing plant workers
- Minnesotans with rare conditions or disabilities that put them at higher risk of severe illness
Phase 1B Tier 3
- Minnesotans age 45 years and older with one or more underlying medical conditions identified by the State of Minnesota
- Minnesotans age 16 years and older with two or more underlying medical conditions
- Minnesotans age 50 years and older in multi-generational housing
- Essential frontline workers: Agricultural, airport staff, additional childcare workers not previously eligible, correctional settings, first responders, food production, food retail, food service, judicial system workers, manufacturing, public health workers, public transit, and U.S. Postal Service workers
“We are looking forward to being able to offer the COVID-19 vaccine to more and more eligible people in our community in the coming weeks,” reported Grace Grinager, Cook County’s Public Health Supervisor. “However, we ask for the community’s patience as we continue to have a limited amount of the vaccine available to us.”
The Cook County Emergency Operations Center and Sawtooth Mountain Clinic will continue to open registration for vaccination events each Monday morning at 8 a.m. on the County’s COVID-19 hub website (www.cookcountycovid19.org). Eligibility guidelines for Cook County will continue to be distributed each Monday morning via media release.
Grinager asked that frontline essential worker groups, including food service, refrain from calling or emailing the County or the Clinic to ask when they can expect to receive a vaccine. The County and the Clinic are working with the EOC Business Liaison and Chamber of Commerce Director Jim Boyd to reach out to this newly eligible group of workers via their employers. Grinager said she plans to announce a schedule for vaccinating food service workers and others in the expanded eligibility list next week. Once announced, employers of frontline essential workers can expect to receive a link to share with their employees where they will be able to indicate their interest in vaccination appointments as they become available.
“We are proud of the vaccination progress we’ve made as a county and we’re prepared to continue our strong collective effort,” Grinager said.