MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Gov. Tim Walz and the Federal Emergency Management Agency announced plans for a mass vaccination site at the state fairgrounds in St. Paul next week that will have the capacity to vaccinate 100,000 Minnesotans against the coronavirus over eight weeks.
The site will receive 168,000 doses of vaccine from Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson over eight weeks. The governor said the site, which will begin administering shots on April 14, will prioritize underserved communities hit hardest by the pandemic.
"This site will help us protect some of the Minnesotans hardest hit by this pandemic as we continue to break down every barrier between each Minnesotan and their life-saving shot,” Walz said in a release.
The announcement comes as cases and hospitalizations across the state have been climbing in recent weeks, driven by a more contagious virus variant first detected in Britain in January.
Health officials on Monday reported 10 more people have died due to COVID-19, and 1,385 new cases after three straight days this month of more than 2,000 daily cases — a level of case growth not seen since early January. The state's totals now stand at 6,885 deaths and 527,650 cases since the start of the pandemic.
As of Friday, more than 1.8 million Minnesotans have received at least one dose of vaccine and about 1 million have been fully inoculated.