Vaccination Timelines and Clinical Trial Results

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Vaccination Timelines

The best resource for information about vaccination timelines in Minnesota is the Minnesota COVID-19 Vaccine Connector, a tool where you sign up to be alerted when you are eligible to receive a vaccine. The tool then will connect you to resources to schedule a vaccine appointment.

Health officials say that you should take the first opportunity you have to get a vaccine because each of the vaccines significantly reduces hospitalizations and deaths.

The state has published a timeline for vaccination by factors such as age, job type, and health status. The Vaccine Connector site proclaims that, “[b]y this summer, every Minnesotan who wants a shot will be able to get one!”

For now, according to state officials, “the goal for the first, limited doses of COVID-19 vaccine is to immunize for impact – meaning [that vaccines are offered] to those at highest risk of getting COVID-19 and those most at risk of severe disease and complications if they get COVID-19.”

The groups that the state prioritized for vaccination through the first week of March included healthcare workers, people 65 years and older, and K-12 teachers and childcare workers. The State of Minnesota prioritized K-12 separately from higher education, stating that  because not all students can successfully social distance or maintain masks, childcare staff and K-12 educators are at higher risk.  Additionally, children going back to childcare and school is needed in order for parents to return back to work.

For more detailed information, visit the Minnesota Department of Health’s About COVID-19 Vaccine page. This page includes considerations for pregnant people, people who are breastfeeding, and immunocompromised people. It also includes information about vaccine safety and what to do after getting vaccinated.

Vaccine Efficacy

Health officials say that you should take the first opportunity you have to get a vaccine because each of the vaccines significantly reduce hospitalizations and deaths.

You may have heard different efficacy rates reported for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines compared with the more recently approved Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Efficacy is a measure of how the vaccine performed during clinical trials and is not a predictor of effectiveness in the general population.

Example: Among the 28,207 people in the Moderna test, 225 in the placebo group contracted COVID-19, while 11 in the vaccine group got the virus. If the vaccine had no effect, we would have expected 225 people to get the virus in each group, but the vaccine group had 214 fewer cases. Efficacy is calculated as the reduction in cases among the vaccine group as a percent of the total cases in the placebo group:  214/225 = 95%. In other words, in this test population, the vaccine was associated with 95% fewer cases in the vaccine group relative to the placebo group.  See more about the Moderna vaccine on the CDC web site.

Efficacy of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine for reducing cases was 74% in U.S. clinical trials, and was 100% for reducing hospitalizations after 28 days relative to the placebo group. As noted above, all three vaccines approved for use in the United States have very strong efficacy rates relative to severe cases of COVID-19, hospitalizations, and death.