Town Hall Announcement and Vaccine Information

Dear neighbor,

We are writing with the first in a series of newsletters about Minnesota’s vaccine plan for COVID-19. With two vaccines expected to be approved by the Centers for Disease Control by the end of this week, we can look to the distribution of these vaccines over the next several months. The complex nature of how this vaccine is produced, stored, and distributed directly impacts when target groups of Minnesotans will have access to it. We have details about the vaccine and its distribution below. Regardless of when you may get the vaccine, please continue to wear a mask, social distance, and stay home as much as possible. While this is exciting and promising news, we still have a long way to go before everyone can be safe from this virus.

Vaccine Safety

The vaccines produced by both Pfizer and Moderna show a 95% efficacy rate. Considering the rapid timeline to produce these vaccines, we understand that you may have concerns about their safety. However, both must meet strict and existing safety standards to be approved and distributed. These vaccines went through the same rigorous clinical trials that other vaccines go through, and steps were taken that allowed the process to be more efficient, such as being able to make vaccine while it’s still going through trials so it’s ready to distribute if it is approved. Other vaccines are going through this process currently and should be available early in 2021. While we encourage you to get this vaccine when you’re able to do so, it will not be mandated for anyone to receive it.

How it Works

The vaccine will take two doses. With the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, you will need to get each dose about one month apart, which you can get at a clinic, hospital, pharmacy, or other approved location. After your second dose, it takes two weeks for your body to build up protection, resulting in about 6 weeks from your first injection to full protection. For other vaccines that may be approved we expect a similar timeline. We know these vaccines are good at preventing people from getting sick, but we don’t have enough data yet to say whether someone who was vaccinated may still spread the disease to others. So, again, keep masking, staying six feet apart, washing your hands, and following other public health recommendations, even if you are someone who gets vaccinated earlier.

Vaccine Timeline

The vaccine will be rolled out in a phased approach because there will be a limited number of doses available initially. More doses will continuously be made and distributed, but we caution that it will all take time and be a fluid situation. Moving from one phase to the next will be determined by vaccine supply and uptake, so we can’t give firm dates for when one phase will end and another will begin. Among those who will be prioritized in the first phase are healthcare workers, long term care residents, persons who are 65 and older, those who have high risk medication conditions, and essential workers. This is a large array of people, and we are still awaiting specific guidance from the Governor’s office on who within these groups will be prioritized. If you are among those offered the vaccine early on, you will be contacted by your employer or place of residence, as the first round of vaccine targeting is based on occupation and location of residency.

The philosophy of how this vaccine will be distributed is based on immunization for impact. Those who are most likely to get COVID-19, or those who would likely have the most severe symptoms if infected, are prioritized in vaccine distribution. While there is still a lot we don’t know about this process, we are confident in the leadership from the Governor and his team to move forward in a transparent, equitable, and research-based manner. We are here to be resources for you, and we will be proactive on reaching out with new information as we are able to.

Town Hall Announcement

We will be holding a town hall that includes a conversation about this process this Wednesday, December 16th, at 7:00pm. You can access the town hall via Facebook Live at this link. If you don’t have a Facebook account, you should still be able to view the video event in real time. 

Thank you for your time and attention to this important information. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out. Wishing you health and wellness.


Scott Dibble
Frank Hornstein
Jamie Long