In early 2021, a new critical phase in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic begins, which will require sustained use all prevention tools including wearing masks, maintaining physical distance, staying home when sick, and washing hands. The addition of vaccines to this prevention tools is an important and hopeful development but will take time to deploy and will still require sustaining the other preventive measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This page will share:
- Information on Minnesota’s plans to roll out vaccines to people experiencing homelessness and the staff who support them
- Resources to learn more about the vaccine and help people make an informed choice about getting vaccinated
Vaccine Information Resource Toolkit
Vaccine education and sharing accurate information that addresses questions and concerns is one of the most important things we can be doing to prepare for the vaccine roll-out. This is a resource toolkit was designed to organize already created resources into topic areas and make them easy to access to share with the people you work with. Click on the topic below to access resources. Each is organized with high level overview information and deeper dive section to learn more. Some resources touch multiple topics, so you may find the same resource in multiple buckets.
We are continuing to add resources and welcome your additions. If you have a resource to add, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can’t find an answer to your question? If you still have a question after reviewing these resources, email email@example.com and we will work to get an answer to your question .
Minnesota Vaccine Plans
Until there is enough vaccine for everyone, Minnesota is focused on immunizing for impact. Minnesota is distributing vaccines in stages to allow those who are most vulnerable to have the opportunity to be vaccinated first. Phase 1a prioritizes vaccination for health care workers and long-term care residents, as well as other vulnerable populations that are defined in three sub-priority tiers. The Minnesota Vaccine Allocation Advisory Group met on January 11 to finalize recommendations for Phase 1B in Minnesota, based off of the federal guidelines. If you want to learn more about the vaccine planning efforts statewide, please visit the Minnesota Department of Health vaccine site for up to date information.
Based on vulnerability, risk factors, and equity, many people experiencing homelessness and the essential staff who support them have been prioritized to begin vaccine distribution as part of the third priority group within Phase 1a. Based on the complexity of our settings, the vaccine distribution will take time. It will begin with third priority group within Phase 1a, and be ongoing through other phases of vaccine distribution.
The At-Risk Populations Work Group is developing a plan for vaccine distribution for people experiencing homelessness and the people who support them. This plan will take into consideration individuals in a variety of settings including, but not limited to, isolation hotels, unsheltered individuals, high risk hotels, emergency shelters, domestic violence and women’s shelters, and youth shelters. Our primary goal is to improve accessibility of vaccination and reduce barriers to vaccination for people experiencing homelessness and those who support them.
Achieving this goal requires engaging and listening, creating customized approaches, streamlining administrative and operational processes, and understanding and evaluating progress and impact. The entire effort will be rapid, adaptive, and committed to continuous improvement. The state welcomes your input throughout the vaccine planning and roll out efforts.
This site will be updated as there is more information to share. Join the weekly provider webinar each Wednesday from 1:00-2:00 p.m. to hear from our state team and ask any questions you may have.
We are in the initial planning for rolling out the vaccine and developing strategies for implementation that will be based on the circumstances of the local communities. In some communities, the local public health (LPH) will be leading the vaccine distribution efforts. In some communities, LPH will ask for support. The state will have contracted providers to support local communities with vaccine distribution.
Important Considerations for Providers:
- Access to shelter and services should not be restricted to those who provide proof of having been vaccinated.
- The COVID-19 vaccines have been approved for use under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). All of the COVID-19 vaccines that are being used have gone through the same safety tests and meet the same standards as any other vaccines.
- Under the EUA, people must be given the opportunity to accept or decline the vaccine. Getting the vaccine is an individual choice.
- We know the vaccine protects the vaccinated person, but we still don’t have data on whether it protects the vaccinated person from spreading it to others.