The Mayo Clinic is opening up COVID-19 vaccination appointments to everyone, even if you're not a Mayo patient.
The renowned healthcare system did a call-out Tuesday for people to schedule their COVID-19 vaccine in Rochester and at other Mayo Clinic Health System sites in southern Minnesota.
Kelley Luckstein, a spokesperson with Mayo, told Bring Me The News there wasn't a "sudden surplus" of the vaccine, noting vaccine supply from the State of Minnesota has been relatively consistent. However, the healthcare system has "progressed through" vaccine appointment invites to patients and now can "allocate more available vaccine to all Minnesota residents who are 16 and older."
Mayo patients can make a vaccine appointment online, while non-patients can call 507-538-4040 to schedule an appointment in Rochester. For appointments in southeast Minnesota, call 507-434-9929 and for southwest Minnesota, call 507-594-2100.
"Mayo is one of the many options for people to get their vaccines so it is not uncommon that people/patients have received their vaccine from another place. This is a positive step for our patients and staff so they have many opportunities to be vaccinated," Luckstein said.
This could be a sign there is more supply than demand for the vaccine, at least in some areas of Minnesota.
Meanwhile, the Mayo Clinic has joined a coalition of 60 hospitals and healthcare systems in the U.S. to encourage adults to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
"The vaccine is our strongest asset to end the pandemic, and I urge everyone who is eligible to get whichever vaccine you’re first offered to save lives," Gianrico Farrugia, Mayo's president and CEO, said in a statement Tuesday.
To get to herd immunity and help end the pandemic, health officials say at least 75% of the population needs to have natural immunity from infection or some level of immunity via the vaccine.
As of this week, about 50% of the population 18 and older and 39.9% of the total population in the U.S. has received at least one dose of the vaccine, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.
In Minnesota, 41.4% of the total population has at least one dose and 52.3% of the state's population who is 16 and older has at least one dose, Minnesota Department of Health data show.
If you still need to get the COVID-19 vaccine, you can find locations here.