Walz announces new permanent vaccine site and pharmacy vaccination opportunities

    With proper funding community health organizations can help control epidemics by providing vaccinations. | Photo Illustration by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

    Gov. Tim Walz announced a third permanent vaccination site in Rochester this week. The new site, which joins Minneapolis and Duluth locations launched in early February, is a part of the COVID-19 Community Vaccination Program and aims to help vaccinate Minnesotans 65 and older. 

    As of this week, teachers and childcare providers will gain access to more opportunities for immunization at the Minneapolis community sites, and at 63 local county clinics across the state. 

    “We still need more supply, but we have to be ready when the federal government ramps up to meet the demand,” said Walz in a news release. 

    The state will also begin participating in the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program, which gives 16,000 doses to Walmart and Thrifty White to help vaccinate those 65 and older, according to a second press release. Walz is also reallocating 8,000 doses to Walgreens for 65+ vaccinations that weren’t going to be used this week. 

    More than 220,000 residents are registered for Minnesota’s COVID-19 vaccine registry for people over 65. Walz also said he will announce a new permanent tool for people to sign up for vaccinations later this week.

    So far, 469,254 Minnesotans have tested positive for COVID-19 and 6,308 have died. Just over 10% of the population — 569,164 people — have received at least one dose of vaccine, and more than 162,000 are completely vaccinated. Minnesota is now 13th in the nation in per capita vaccinations, a sharp improvement from earlier. 

    Read more about Minnesota’s vaccine rollout here

    Gracie Stockton
    Gracie Stockton is a senior at the University of Minnesota. She was awarded the 2021 Kaufman scholarship from the Hubbard School of Journalism & Mass Communication and joined the Reformer as an intern. Gracie also studies theatre and Russian, and is an artist in her free time.