Mar 10, 2021 | By: Nick Ursini

Essentia Health Moves Into Next Tier of COVID-19 Vaccinations

Essentia Health is beginning to vaccinate Tier 3 of phase 1B after Gov. Tim Walz expanded vaccine eligibility starting today.

According to the release, people in phase 1B include:

  • People with specific underlying health conditions (sickle cell disease, Down syndrome, active cancer treatment, immunocompromised from an organ transplant, oxygen-dependent chronic lung or heart conditions)
  • Essential workers in food-processing plants
  • Those with rare conditions or disabilities that put them at higher risk of severe illness.

This smaller group is expected to take about a week to work through, after which we will move into Tier 3, comprised of people aged 45 and older with one or more of the following underlying medical conditions, or 16 and older with two or more underlying medical conditions:

  • Active cancer
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • COPD
  • Diabetes (Type 1 or 2)
  • Heart conditions (heart failure, coronary artery disease or cardiomyopathies)
  • Immunocompromised state from HIV, bone marrow disease, chronic steroids for more than 30 days, immunodeficiency disease or taking immunosuppressive medications
  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy

Tier 3 also includes:

  • Minnesotans at least 50 years old in multi-generational housing
  • Essential frontline workers in agriculture, airport staff, additional child care 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.

Essentia Health has begun notifying patients through MyChart and by phone that they are eligible to schedule their vaccination as part of the next tier. Essentia Health will return to a randomization process, pulling eligible patients who are on MyChart or on the wait list as they work through notifications for this next group, according to the release.

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