In an effort to vaccinate as many Minnesotans aged 65 and older as fast as possible, the state announced that 24,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine will be distributed to pharmacies throughout the state to be used this week.
Gov. Tim Walz announced Monday that 16,000 doses have been sent to Walmart and Thrifty White stores as part of the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program.
An additional 8,000 doses from the Pharmacy Partnership Program that were not scheduled to be used this week have been reallocated for immediate use at 40 Walgreens pharmacies.
All 24,000 doses are for Minnesotans aged 65 and older, as that population of residents is more prone to serious symptoms if they contract COVID-19.
“We are giving Minnesotans expanded options for how they can get the vaccine,” said Walz, in a release. “The vaccine supply remains extremely limited, but we are developing a strong and reliable network of different ways Minnesotans can get vaccinated. We are committed to meeting Minnesotans where they are and will continue to work relentlessly to give everyone access to the vaccine no matter where they live.”
All appointments for the 24,000 doses will become available this week through this link, though as of Tuesday morning the Walmart, Thrifty White and Walgreens locations have not been made public. The state did not say exactly when the locations will be announced, but it is expected to happen this week.
Seniors who are on the vaccine wait list will be notified by state officials "if there are vaccine opportunities in their area," a news release said.
Minnesota ranks 14th nationally based on doses administered per 100,000 people, according to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention.