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Mayo Clinic to begin vaccinating state's third priority group

Mayo Clinic said everyone in the first two groups in Olmsted County would be vaccinated by the end of January.

ROCHESTER, Minn. — Mayo Clinic reports they will begin vaccinating people in the state's third priority group for receiving the COVID-19 vaccine Monday.

"For example, dentists, dental practices, hospice workers, audiologists, speech language pathologists, etc.," said Dr. Melanie Swift, co-chair of the COVID-19 Vaccine Allocation and Distribution Workgroup at Mayo Clinic.

Swift said Mayo and its healthcare partners in Olmsted County would be finished vaccinating everyone eligible in the first two priority groups by the end of January. 

Swift said Mayo is currently set up to vaccinate about 10,000 people a week, but like many healthcare systems nationwide, falls short on vaccines.

"We're not getting anything like that much vaccine. In fact, the whole state is only getting about 60,000 doses a week," Swift said.

Swift said Mayo's weekly allotment can vary "widely" week to week. During a press conference held via zoom Thursday, she said shipments had contained about 1,700 or 2,700 doses each. Mayo is set to receive 3,900 doses next week, Swift said in an email to KARE 11 Thursday.

"We have the machinery, we have the site, the people, the process, the procedure. What we don't have is [enough] vaccine," Swift said. "That's kind of a key ingredient in this particular layer cake."

This week Minnesota expanded vaccine eligibility to people over the age of 65, teachers, and childcare workers. 

RELATED: MN officials: More than 10,000 COVID-19 vaccination appointments set up in new pilot program

Swift said the state has not yet authorized Mayo to vaccinate people in those groups.

"I think if they had enough vaccine, they would certainly give us that [permission], but the primary thing we need is we need vaccine to do it with," Swift said.

RELATED: Can COVID-19 vaccines be mixed and matched?

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The state of Minnesota has set up a data portal online at mn.gov/covid19.

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