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High demand, low supply: Duluth man turns vaccine disappointment into hope

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DULUTH, MN-- The demand is bigger than the supply. That's the message from the Minnesota Department of Health as vaccine availability is lacking across the state.

Vaccine frustrations are being felt by many Americans who are anxiously awaiting their turn for peace of mind.

For Michael Jackson of Duluth, getting a vaccine is a must.

"I have not left the house except for medical appointments," said Jackson. "We are being extremely careful."

Jackson has cerebral palsy. That, along with other chronic medical conditons, make him extremely high risk.

The 26-year-old was told he would be getting his first shot on Friday, only to have it canceled.

"Its been a roller coaster but ultimately I believe that it was due to unavailability of vaccines. I recognize that I have to wait my turn and that there are availability issues right now," said Jackson.

Availability issues is limiting vaccine distribution to people like Jackson across the state.

It's something the Minnesota Department of Health is aware of, but says right now the demand outweighs the weekly supply of shots received by the state.

"Its stable but it's just that the expectation was raised as we've talked about a much broader segment of the population," said Minnesota Department of Health Commissioner, Jan Malcolm. "So, even though the doses have been stable the expectations have been increased."

Right now there are no specifics on how many more vaccines will be allocated, but the department is taking steps now to make sure they are ready to meet the demand.

"While we continue to push for that and certainly have the demand for that from our people, we are busy building up the infrastructure in Minnesota so that we are ready to get out larger amounts of vaccines as soon as they become available to us from the federal government," said Minnesota Infectious Disease Director, Kris Ehresmann.

Until then, Jackson is remaining positive and hopeful for his shot at the vaccine, and being able to reunite with his loved ones.

"I was very thankful that I was originally given the opportunity and I will be ready and waiting when my time has come to get it," said Jackson.

Right now Minnesota is in the second phase of vaccination distribution, which includes school districts, childcare providers and those 65 and older.

DULUTH, MN-- The demand is bigger than the supply. That's the message from the Minnesota Department of Health as vaccine availability is lacking across the state.

Vaccine frustrations are being felt by many Americans who are anxiously awaiting their turn for peace of mind.

For Michael Jackson of Duluth, getting a vaccine is a must.

"I have not left the house except for medical appointments," said Jackson. "We are being extremely careful."

Jackson has cerebral palsy. That, along with other chronic medical conditons, make him extremely high risk.

The 26-year-old was told he would be getting his first shot on Friday, only to have it canceled.

"Its been a roller coaster but ultimately I believe that it was due to unavailability of vaccines. I recognize that I have to wait my turn and that there are availability issues right now," said Jackson.

Availability issues is limiting vaccine distribution to people like Jackson across the state.

It's something the Minnesota Department of Health is aware of, but says right now the demand outweighs the weekly supply of shots received by the state.

"Its stable but it's just that the expectation was raised as we've talked about a much broader segment of the population," said Minnesota Department of Health Commissioner, Jan Malcolm. "So, even though the doses have been stable the expectations have been increased."

Right now there are no specifics on how many more vaccines will be allocated, but the department is taking steps now to make sure they are ready to meet the demand.

"While we continue to push for that and certainly have the demand for that from our people, we are busy building up the infrastructure in Minnesota so that we are ready to get out larger amounts of vaccines as soon as they become available to us from the federal government," said Minnesota Infectious Disease Director, Kris Ehresmann.

Until then, Jackson is remaining positive and hopeful for his shot at the vaccine, and being able to reunite with his loved ones.

"I was very thankful that I was originally given the opportunity and I will be ready and waiting when my time has come to get it," said Jackson.

Right now Minnesota is in the second phase of vaccination distribution, which includes school districts, childcare providers and those 65 and older.

Natalie Grant

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