MINNEAPOLIS — Tuesday morning though Wednesday morning, Minnesota's vaccine lottery opened to people 65 and older, and thousands of people were eager to register.
At the 5 a.m. open time, people were already reporting long virtual lines online.
The registration will remain open through 5 a.m. Wednesday and early entry doesn't affect your chances of being selected to receive a vaccine. The pre-registration system is not first come, first serve.
Those who sign up will receive a confirmation email saying they've been "waitlisted" for the MDH COVID-19 Vaccine Pilot Program. Lottery winners will be notified on Wednesday by text, email, or phone if they received a vaccine appointment.
Minnesotans selected to get an appointment will be given a time slot at one of the nine vaccination sites they designated when registering for the lottery.
Nearly 12,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine will be distributed at vaccination sites in Brooklyn Center, Blaine, St. Cloud, Rochester, North Mankato, Marshall, Mountain Iron, Thief River Falls and Fergus Falls.
Last week, the online site and state phone lines were overwhelmed with people trying to get a vaccine. Gov. Walz says the state was expecting high interest but said “that’s no excuse for putting people through a bad experience.”
“Both Blaine and Brooklyn Center will be 65-plus,” Anne O’Connor, deputy commissioner, Minnesota Dept. of Commerce said. “The other seven sites are split equally between the educators and childcare workers, and 65-plus.”
The state also announced a pop-up vaccination site at Roy Wilkins Auditorium in St. Paul, dedicated to K-12 teachers and childcare workers.
Over five days – this Thursday through Monday – the state hopes to administer 15,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine.