As COVID-19 vaccines continue to be administered across the Northland, Essentia Health in Minnesota announced another option for Minnesotans 65 and older to schedule their appointment.

Essentia Health says they are following guidance from Gov. Tim Walz to work together with the state to vaccinate 70% of this age group before they can move to other groups. They state that future groups were released by the governor’s office last week, and the next one will include people with specific high-risk medical conditions and targeted essential workers.

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With the addition of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, Essentia is experiencing a greater allocation of vaccines and they are looking for help from the community reach that 70% threshold. They are vaccinating residents of Minnesota who fit the criteria of being at least 65 years of age and living in their service area, regardless of whether the person is an Essentia patient.

If you are a Minnesota resident age 65 or older and live within Essentia’s service area, please call (833) 494-0836 to schedule your vaccination. Starting Friday, March, 5, you also can utilize your MyChart account to make an appointment. To sign up for MyChart, visit EssentiaHealth.org and click on the MyChart button in the upper right-hand corner; then click “sign up.” There is also a MyChart app for smart devices.

Since December, Essentia Health says they've given more than 45,000 vaccines in Minnesota. Vaccine clinics have been held and continue to be held across the state at Essentia locations. They also have mobile teams going directly into communities to administer shots to populations that otherwise may experience barriers to receiving the vaccine.

LOOK: Answers to 30 common COVID-19 vaccine questions

While much is still unknown about the coronavirus and the future, what is known is that the currently available vaccines have gone through all three trial phases and are safe and effective. It will be necessary for as many Americans as possible to be vaccinated in order to finally return to some level of pre-pandemic normalcy, and hopefully these 30 answers provided here will help readers get vaccinated as soon they are able.

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