From Commissioner Thom Petersen:

Governor Tim Walz announced Wednesday that Minnesota is expanding COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to include a segment of Minnesota’s food and agriculture sector. Starting, Wednesday, March 10, vaccine eligibility will expand to the next two phases which will includes food processing plant workers (Phase 1b Tier 2) and other essential agriculture workers including employees in food production and food retail (Phase 1b Tier 3).

The Governor’s announcement comes several weeks ahead of schedule after the state moved quickly to use more vaccine from the federal government.

Food and agriculture workers have been essential throughout the pandemic keeping food on our tables and I commend Governor Walz for prioritizing food processing, food production, retail food employees, and farmers in this next vaccination phase. I encourage these critical workers to get vaccinated to protect themselves and their families.

More than 1.8 million Minnesotans will become eligible to receive the vaccine beginning this week:

Phase 1b Tier 2 populations, including:

  • 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 populations, including:

  • Minnesotans age 45 years and older with one or more underlying medical conditions identified by the CDC
  • 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 (farmers), food production, food retail, food service as well as other sectors including airport staff, additional child care workers not previously eligible, correctional settings, first responders, judicial system workers, manufacturing, public health workers, public transit, and U.S. Postal Service workers

All Minnesotans who have not received a vaccine should sign up for the COVID-19 Vaccine Connector to get regular updates on vaccine availability and eligibility. In some cases, health care providers or employers will have more information for patients or employees on vaccine availability.

Questions regarding food and ag sector vaccinations can be sumbitted to