Minnesota leaders announced Thursday, Feb. 18 the launch of the Minnesota COVID-19 Vaccine Connector, a tool that helps all Minnesotans find out when, where, and how to get their COVID-19 vaccine. The Vaccine Connector is the next step of the state’s vaccination strategy to meet Minnesotans where they are and connect them to vaccine opportunities, no matter where they live or their personal circumstances.
The Governor and his administration has focused its work lately to develop a reliable and stable network of different ways Minnesotans can get vaccinated. The state has mobilized health care systems, local pharmacies, federally qualified health centers, local hospitals, local public health, and state-run community vaccination sites to make sure everyone will be able to get a vaccine when the federal government ships more doses. The MDE believes Vaccine Connector will help connect Minnesotans to that network once it’s their turn to get a shot and will also improve the ability of communities of color to access the vaccine.
“We still have a frustratingly limited vaccine supply from the federal government, but every Minnesotan should know their chance to get a vaccine will come. Today, we are connecting them directly to that process,” said Governor Tim Walz. “ We need to make it as easy as possible for every Minnesotan to get the vaccine when it’s their turn – no matter where they live and no matter their personal circumstances. The options we’re providing will help make that happen.”
“The Vaccine Connector will play a vital role moving forward to help us connect each and every Minnesotan to a vaccine once they’re eligible,” said Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan. “We are working hard to make sure folks in every community in Minnesota feel connected to our vaccine network and know how to get a vaccine safely and confidently once supply increases.”
Minnesotans who have not yet been vaccinated are encouraged to sign up for the COVID-19 Vaccine Connector, regardless of their current vaccine eligibility status. There will be no cost and no restricted time period for signing up.
Minnesotans can sign up at mn.gov/vaccineconnector. Minnesotans unable to sign up online can call 833-431-2053 for assistance signing up over the phone. Translation is available by phone in all languages. Minnesotans can call the translation hotline at 833-431-2053 for assistance signing up over the phone.
Minnesotans will provide basic information to sign up for the Vaccine Connector such as contact information, demographic data, medical history, and employment to determine their eligibility based on state guidelines. The State of Minnesota is committed to the equitable distribution of safe and effective vaccines for protection against COVID-19 and this form has included questions about gender identity, sexual orientation, race, cultural identification, and disabilities to help us track and measure equity and fairness throughout the vaccine distribution process. These questions do have the option to select “prefer not to answer” or “none of the above,” and selecting these answers will not prevent you from signing up for the Vaccine Connector.
When a Minnesotan becomes eligible to receive a vaccine under state guidelines, the Vaccine Connector will alert them of their eligibility, connect them to resources to schedule an appointment, and notify them if there are vaccination opportunities in their area. Minnesotans will still make appointments directly through a registered vaccinator, but the Connector is an easy way for Minnesotans to stay apprised of their eligibility and find opportunities to get a shot.
Minnesota is currently vaccinating health care workers, long-term care residents, pre-kindergarten through grade 12 educators, child care workers and people age 65 and over. All Minnesotans who have not been vaccinated should sign up for the Vaccine Connector. They will continue to hear about vaccination opportunities in a variety of different ways:
- Health care personnel will hear from their employer about when and where they can get vaccinated.
- Long-term care residents will hear from their facility about when and where they can get vaccinated.
- Adults 65+ who already registered through either the COVID-19 Vaccine Pilot Program or the COVID-19 Community Vaccination Program do not need to re-submit their information. When adults 65+ sign up for the Vaccine Connector, they will immediately be entered into the random selection process for the state’s Community Vaccination Program sites operating in Minneapolis, Duluth, and Rochester. If they are selected to receive their vaccine at one of these sites, they will be notified by text, email, or landline by the company that runs those sites, Vault Health. The state is continuing to partner with hundreds of local medical providers and pharmacies to provide shots to Minnesotans age 65 and older. Adults 65+ can use the Vaccine Locator map to find nearby vaccine distribution sites and make an appointment to receive a vaccine through the providers listed there. They can also contact their regular provider directly.
- Educators and child care providers who already completed the Minnesota COVID-19 Vaccine – Education and Child Care survey do not need to complete the Vaccine Connector form or re-submit their information. Educators, school staff, and child care workers will continue to hear from their local public health agency, employer, state-sponsored community vaccination site, or state vaccination partner about when and where they can get vaccinated.
Demand for vaccine still far exceeds supply, and Minnesotans should remain patient as more vaccine arrives in the weeks and months ahead. Every Minnesotan will have an opportunity to get vaccinated, it will just take time and the Vaccine Connector is another tool Minnesotans can use to be prepared.