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Minnesota opening 7th community COVID vaccination site

The site will open in southern Minnesota next week.

The State of Minnesota is opening its seventh community COVID-19 vaccination site next week in Mankato. 

The permanent vaccination site will be at the Mayo Clinic Health System Event Center and will be used to administer the two-dose Moderna vaccine to Minnesotans who are eligible, including frontline workers, the state announced Friday. 

This marks the seventh community vaccination site to open. The others are in Bloomington, Duluth, Minneapolis, Rochester, St. Cloud and St. Paul.

“Across the state, we are building an expansive network of providers to bring vaccines directly to Minnesotans in their communities. Our Community Vaccine Program is a key component of this provider network,” Gov. Tim Walz said in a statement. “The Community Vaccination sites are incredibly efficient at getting shots into arms, and this new location will help us reach more people in southern Minnesota quicker than ever before.”

More than 2 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Minnesota, with more than 1.3 million people getting at least one dose. 

And Minnesota's vaccination progress is about to speed up significantly. The governor told Dave Lee on WCCO Radio Friday morning that by March 29, the state will be getting upwards of 350,000 doses. 

A boost to 350,000 shots per week would essentially double the 172,390 doses Minnesota received this week, which would accelerate the pace of Minnesotans being vaccinated. 

With approximately 3.6 million Minnesotans unvaccinated, a pace of 350,000 shots per week would mean Minnesotans could conceivably receive their first shot sometime in the next two and a half months.

“We need broad community protection before we are able to rein in COVID-19 and get back to the many normal parts of life we all have missed — and the way we get there is by getting as many people vaccinated as possible, as quickly as possible,” Walz said in a statement. “To do that, all Minnesotans should get vaccinated with the first vaccine available to them. This new site provides even more opportunities for people to get their shot.”

Minnesotans how haven't yet gotten the vaccine are encouraged to sign up for the state's Vaccine Connector, which will notify people about vaccine opportunities near them. And users currently eligible for the vaccine may be randomly selected for an appointment at a community vaccination site. 

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