The state of Minnesota is planning to close all but one of its COVID-19 mass vaccination sites by Aug. 7.
A statement from Gov. Tim Walz late Friday said the state will focus on the several hundred smaller vaccination sites around the state, at pharmacies and health care providers.
“We are working hard to get shots to as many people as possible through local providers and community-based events,” Walz said in a news release. “We will continue our collaboration with diverse partnerships to equitably distribute vaccines in every community and every corner of this state.”
Minnesota’s COVID-19 vaccination rate has been stagnant in recent weeks, at about two-thirds of residents 16 and older with at least one vaccine dose. Health officials have been turning to small-scale, targeted efforts to get the vaccine to more people.
As of Friday the state reported administering more than 618,000 vaccine doses at the mass vaccination sites since January.
"To the coalition that answered the call to meet this moment — from the courageous men and women of the Minnesota National Guard, to our nurses administering the life-saving vaccine, to the team who built the program from the ground up, and so many more — Minnesota thanks you," Walz said.
The Mall of America location will be the only state-run mass vaccination site to stay open past the first week of August.
Starting Sunday, July 11, the state-run sites in St. Paul, Oakdale, Lino Lakes, Duluth, Rochester, Mankato and St. Cloud will only offer second doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in their final weeks of operation.
The state-run site at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport will offer the one-dose Johnson and Johnson vaccine until it closes in early August.
The Mall of America site that will remain open past Aug. 7 is open to appointments and walk-up vaccinations and serves patients 12 and older. Patients younger than 18 need consent from a parent or guardian.
More information on finding a COVID-19 vaccination location in Minnesota is available on the state's Vaccine Connector website.
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