As part of the State of Minnesota’s COVID-19 Community Vaccination Program (CVP), Governor Tim Walz announced a new community vaccination site to launch this week in Rochester. The large-scale, permanent site will be the third of its kind, joining sites in Minneapolis and Duluth that launched last week. The Rochester site will serve approximately 1,500 Minnesotans 65 and older (65+) in its first week.

“We’re building a reliable network of options for Minnesotans to access the vaccine,” said Governor Walz. “Today, we are expanding that network in southern Minnesota to give more Minnesotans access to shots where they live, so we can crush COVID-19 and get back to business as usual.”

“We still need more supply, but we have to be ready when the federal government ramps up to meet the demand,” continued Governor Walz. “Just as Minnesota is leading in testing, we are leading in community vaccination. We will be ready to continue expanding access until every Minnesotan has the opportunity to receive the vaccine, regardless of where they live.”

The announcement follows the launch of the COVID-19 Community Vaccination Program and the opening of large-scale, permanent sites in Minneapolis and Duluth.

“Our elders are among our most vulnerable Minnesotans when it comes to the risks of COVID-19,” said Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan. “Today we are moving forward with our plan of expanding access across the state, and setting the stage for the day federal vaccine supply catches up with demand. We are determined to ensure every Minnesotan has the opportunity to access the vaccine, no matter where they live.”

More than 220,000 Minnesotans age 65 and older registered for the state’s COVID-19 65+ vaccine registry. Minnesotans who have not been selected for a vaccine from the registry will remain on this list and continue to have the opportunity to be selected to schedule an appointment at the State of Minnesota’s COVID-19 community vaccination sites. More information will be announced later this week about a permanent tool for Minnesotans to sign up for information about vaccination opportunities.

Educators and Child Care Workers Vaccine Opportunities

Education and childcare professionals will also have additional opportunities to receive the vaccine the week of February 8 at the Minneapolis community vaccination site, as well as at 63 county local public health clinics spread throughout the state.

Staff in education and child care settings will be contacted directly if selected to sign up for vaccine appointments.

State of Minnesota COVID-19 Vaccination Background

In partnership with local public health and school districts, the state launched the COVID-19 Vaccine Pilot Program (VPP) on January 18 as a way to test the concept of community vaccination and to identify best practices for registering patients, administering shots, and distributing vaccine around the state. To date, approximately 43,422 patients received first doses at the VPP’s nine clinics and one pop-up event. VPP second doses will be administered beginning February 11.

Following the successful administration of VPP first doses, Minnesota launched the COVID-19 Community Vaccination Program (CVP) on February 1, including the establishment of two large-scale, permanent community vaccination sites in Duluth and Minneapolis. The program is estimated to administer roughly 11,000 doses, to both 65+ and education and childcare professionals (E12/CC), by February 9.

In addition to the COVID-19 Community Vaccination Program, the state’s all-of-the-above approach to vaccine distribution bolsters the proven network of local health care providers, which is how most Minnesotans should expect to receive the vaccine once the federal government ramps up vaccine supply to meet demand. To that end, the state also announced on February 1 that it sent approximately 30,000 doses to more than 100 hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare providers to enable seniors to get vaccinated through local providers in communities near where they live, who have begun to contact their patients for appointments.

Minnesotans are encouraged to check out the state's new vaccine finder map to search for local providers: https://mn.gov/covid19/vaccine/find-vaccine/locations/index.jsp

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