COVID Vaccinations

COVID Vaccinations

Many are anticipating the widespread availability of a COVID-19 vaccination in the months ahead. The University of Minnesota Duluth is currently preparing a phased approach for access to the vaccine for students, faculty, and staff that follows guidelines developed at the federal and state level.

Vaccine Availability

Multiple vaccines have received Emergency Use Authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. However, the vaccine is not expected to be available to the general public until the second quarter (April, May, June) of 2021. 

As outlined by the Minnesota Department of Health, which is coordinating the vaccination effort in Minnesota, COVID-19 vaccinations will take place over several phases. Find the latest information on vaccine data, distribution, and availability on the MN Department of Health COVID-19 vaccine website

The University is following guidelines established by the state for each phase of vaccine distribution. Currently in Phase 1a, the state has established three priority levels: 

  • First Priority:
    • Hospitals, which include all personnel working in dedicated COVID-19 units, intensive care units , emergency departments, and designated COVID-19 urgent care clinics 
    • Emergency Medical Services personnel
    • COVID-19 testing personnel
    • COVID-19 vaccination personnel 
    • Long-term care facility personnel
  • Second Priority:
    • Hospitals, which include all personnel providing direct patient services or handling infectious materials and not included in the first priority group 
    • Urgent care settings, which include all personnel providing direct patient services or handling infectious materials and not included in the first priority group 
    • Dialysis centers, which include all personnel providing direct patient services or handling infectious materials
  • Third Priority:
    • All remaining healthcare workers not included in the first and second priority groups that are unable to telework, such as:
      • Hospital personnel
      • Ambulatory and outpatient settings
      • Dental clinics
      • Pharmacies
      • Public health clinics
      • Mental/behavioral health settings

University Vaccination Planning

At the University, vaccination distribution plans are developed and led by the University of Minnesota COVID-19 Vaccine Team and approved by the Campus Public Health Officer. Our community—across five campuses—is large and diverse. Throughout the weeks and months ahead, the COVID-19 Vaccine Team continues to identify specific target populations of students, staff, and faculty and ensure timely access to vaccines as they become available from state and local public health partners. For UMD, Dr. David Worley is our liaison to the COVID-19 Vaccine Team.

For each phase of vaccination distribution, the University will follow these steps:

  1. Federal and state public health officials release guidelines for the upcoming phase of vaccine distribution.
  2. The U of M COVID-19 Vaccine Team reviews those guidelines and develops a University-level distribution plan for the upcoming phase.
  3. The plan is then reviewed by the Campus Public Health Officer (at UMD, Dr. David Worley). 
  4. Once approved by the Campus Public Health Officer, the University submits a request for vaccines to state and local public health partners.
  5. Once vaccines are received for distribution on campus, individuals in a given target population will be asked to schedule an appointment for vaccination at a designated vaccine clinic. 

Current status on the Duluth campus:

  • Phase 1a assessment of target populations has been completed by Dr. David Worley and approved by Dr. Jill DeBoer on behalf of the COVID-19 Vaccine Team. 
  • The vaccine has been requested from state and local partners and the University is awaiting receipt of all or part of the vaccine required to vaccinate those in the Priority 1a category. 
  • An initial allotment has been designated for personnel staffing current COVID-19 testing and future COVID-19 vaccine clinics.

As hospitals and long-term care facilities receive the first allotments of vaccines in Minnesota, some members of the University community may have access to vaccines through those sites due to their employment or clinical rotation status. Those with access to vaccines through external partners are encouraged to take that opportunity to be vaccinated. 

Additional Resources

Additional information regarding vaccinations can be reviewed at the following locations:


While vaccination planning continues at the University, please reach out to [email protected] if you have questions.