Minnesota to host FEMA vaccination site at state fairgrounds

A vaccine is drawn into a syringe.
Bill Helminiak draws the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe before sending it to be administered on March 5.
Evan Frost | MPR News file

Gov. Tim Walz and the Federal Emergency Management Agency announced plans for a mass vaccination site at the state fairgrounds in Falcon Heights 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.

Grow the Future of Public Media

MPR News is supported by Members. Gifts from individuals power everything you find here. Make a gift of any amount today to become a Member!

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.

COVID-19 in Minnesota

Data in these graphs are based on the Minnesota Department of Health's cumulative totals released at 11 a.m. daily. You can find more detailed statistics on COVID-19 at the Health Department website.

The coronavirus is transmitted through respiratory droplets, coughs and sneezes, similar to the way the flu can spread.