COVID-19 Vaccine Information

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 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.

Vaccine Overview and What to Expect

Vaccine Development and Safety

Culturally Specific Resources

Preparing your Site

Data

Youth Resources

Conversation Guide: Our team has created a conversation guide for respectful conversations about the COVID-19 vaccines. This document is meant to be a tool to use in professional and personal settings and it provides tips and questions you can use to guide your conversations with people about COVID-19 vaccines. These approaches are grounded in a set of techniques call motivational interviewing.

Looking for a speaker? MDH has a process to request a speaker to attend an in-person or virtual event about COVID. You can email Health.COVIDspeakerrequests@state.mn.us or fill out this survey, to request a speaker.

Can’t find an answer to your question? If you still have a question after reviewing these resources, email elizabeth.dressel@state.mn.us and we will work to get an answer to your question.

We are continuing to add resources and welcome your additions. If you have a resource to add, please email Elizabeth Dressel.

Trusted Messenger Training

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has contracted with ACER, African Career, Education, and Resource Inc, in partnership with MICAH, Metropolitan Interfaith Council on Affordable Housing to operate the COVID-19 Trusted Messenger Vaccine Program. The COVID-19 Trusted Messengers will be people experiencing homelessness or living in congregate settings (such as supportive housing, sober homes, halfway houses, and correctional facilities) who are trained to share information with their peers about COVID-19 vaccines. The hired messengers will share their own experiences, and provide a non-medical, non-threatening perspective to aid their peers in making decisions about the COVID-19 vaccine. Trusted Messengers will be trained and provided ongoing support by MDH and MICH.

The Trusted Messenger program is not currently accepting applications. If you have questions or want to be considered if future resources become available, you can email josh.leopold@state.mn.us. We will be sharing training resources and key learning with all through this site and the weekly provider webinar.

Updated Information on Where to Get Vaccinated

All Minnesotans 12 and up are eligible to be vaccinated. You can find more information about the state’s vaccine efforts on the COVID-19 Vaccine page. The Minnesota Department of Health COVID-19 vaccine page has detailed information on vaccine data, phased rollout, and other resources. New pathways to be vaccinated continue to become available all the time and we want to make sure you are aware of the variety of ways eligible people can access vaccines.  Check out below or this MDH Flyer on Ways to Find a COVID-19 Vaccine.

  1. Your Health Care Provider
    • If your health care provider or clinic is currently offering vaccine, you can try calling to make an appointment.
    • State of Minnesota Vaccine Locator Map can help you find local vaccine providers. To schedule an appointment, you will need visit the provider’s website or call them directly.
  2. Your Local Pharmacy
    • Thrifty White, Walmart, Sam’s Club, HyVee, Walgreens, CVS, and other pharmacies are offering vaccines. To look for available appointments you would visit each company’s vaccine webpage and complete the scheduling forms. Vaccine appointments are filling up fast right now, so there are not always available appointments, though some have notification or wait lists.  
    • State of Minnesota Vaccine Locator Map can help you find local vaccine providers. To schedule an appointment, you will need visit the provider’s website or call them directly.
    • CDC: Vaccine Finder
  3. Minnesota Community Vaccination Sites
    • If you have already completed the Connector and need to revise your form to provide this answer, you would call the Vaccine Connector hotline at 833-431-2053 to update your form. 
  4. Requesting an On-Site Vaccine Clinic
    • Work continues to bring vaccine directly to congregate sites. If you work in an eligible congregate setting (homeless or domestic violence shelter, transitional housing, supportive housing, board and lodge or Department of Corrections-licensed halfway home) and not all your staff or residents are able to travel to a clinic to get vaccinated. Email Health.R-Congregate@state.mn.us to get connected to a state vaccinator or LPH team who can come onsite. State contracted providers are offering $100 gift cards at the time of the first shot.
    • Local Public Health departments are offering different vaccine opportunities and incentives. Contact your local public health department to learn more. Find your local contact here.
  5. Contact a COVID-19 Community Coordinators (CCCs)
    • CCCs are community based organizations that are contracted through the State of Minnesota to connect communities with resources. Many CCCs are hosting vaccine events that are no cost and provide culturally relevant supports. Contact each CCC directly to learn about vaccine opportunities and incentives.  
  6. Submitting a Request to Host a Community Clinic
    • Fill out this request form to host a vaccine clinic. This request is open to any site across the state.
    • Supported by: Local Public Health, Pharmacies and MDH
    • Interpreters, accessibility and other equity considerations have been embedded in the form and process, by the Equity team at MDH who worked on mobile vaccine units.

Flyer with information on accessing the COVID-19 vaccine and transportation resources.

Overview Information

The At-Risk Populations Work Group developed and is executing 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.

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.