Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that they will grant Governor Tim Walz and eight other governors’ request and release the millions of doses of the safe, effective COVID-19 vaccine currently being held back by the Trump Administration. According to publicly reported information, the federal government currently has upwards of 50% of currently produced vaccines held back by the administration for reasons unknown.

“Minnesotans are ready for the COVID-19 vaccine – it is how we will crush this virus, save lives, and finally resume normalcy,” said Governor Walz. “The COVID-19 vaccines don’t belong to the Trump Administration, they belong to the people. I was proud to join eight other governors to make this point and I am glad our request to release millions of doses of the vaccine across the country has been granted.”

“More vaccine becoming available to more people quickly is a welcome development but we’ll follow the adage – trust but verify,” Governor Walz continued. “A promise to deliver isn’t delivering and we’ve learned to manage our expectations when it comes to federal government promises on vaccines. Planning for vaccines to be more broadly available has been happening in Minnesota for months now. And we are ready to receive the vaccines and get them out. This announcement should bring more hope to all Minnesotans. We are closer to the end of this pandemic today than we were yesterday.”

Last week, Governors Tim Walz, Gretchen Whitmer (MI), Gavin Newsom (CA), Laura Kelly (KS), J.B. Pritzker (IL), Andrew Cuomo (NY), Tony Evers (WI), Jay Inslee (WA), and Kate Brown (OR) sent a letter to Secretary Azar and General Perna requesting that the federal government distribute the millions of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine doses that are currently being held back by the Trump Administration. After the governors sent the letter, the incoming Biden Administration announced that they will release available vaccine doses that the Trump Administration is holding back.

See the full letter to the Trump Administration.

To learn more about Minnesota’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution efforts, visit mn.gov/covid19/vaccine.

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