State health officials say small amounts of COVID vaccine are sitting unused in some parts of Minnesota, because the highest-priority people in the area have already been vaccinated — and they’re urging providers to make unused doses available to broader groups, including those age 65 and older. Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm:

“Today’s (Thurs) announcement and guidance to vaccine partners are simply to make sure that they nothing hold them back from immediately using any and all vaccine they have available.”

But Malcolm stresses there are still far more Minnesotans eligible for the first round of vaccinations than doses available from the federal government. She says it’s not practical to send small amounts of unused vaccine to areas where there’s a shortage. But Malcolm adds health officials are refining procedures to better handle the initial distribution of vaccine to providers.