MINNEAPOLIS (AP) _ The Minnesota Department of Health has told hospitals, health care systems and other vaccination providers that they can now provide coronavirus shots to a broader group of the population, including Minnesotans 65 and older.

Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm said in a statement that the move is meant to free providers to use all available doses as quickly as possible while still ensuring that the doses are targeted to those most at need for protection from COVID-19.

The federal government this week urged states to immediately start vaccinating groups that had been lower down the priority scale than before.

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