Skip to main content

Repurposed Metro Transit buses will become 'mobile vaccination units'

The program will start this week with two buses.
Vaccine bus

Minnesota State officials are launching mobile vaccination units in an attempt to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine to underserved populations.

On Wednesday, Gov. Tim Walz and his administration announced the program, which will use repurposed Metro Transit buses to bring the vaccine into communities. The program will begin this week with two buses and scale up to six buses by the summer.

“Equity is a core value of Minnesota's COVID-19 vaccination strategy, and every single Minnesotan deserves safe and equitable access to the vaccine. Making the COVID-19 vaccine available to as many people as possible is essential to ending the pandemic,” Walz said in a statement.

“Our mobile vaccination units are ready to roll and will bring life-saving vaccine directly to communities that need them the most.”

The buses will be staffed by more than 700 volunteers from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota.

Each bus will be able to vaccinate up to 150 people per day.

As of Monday, 53% of Minnesotans aged 16 and over had received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, but there are signs that demand for the shots is dwindling, prompting state officials to step up efforts to encourage greater take-up.

The program’s announcement pointed to data showing that communities that score high on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Social Vulnerability Index are more likely to be impacted by COVID-19, and more likely to be behind on vaccine rollout efforts.

The mobile vaccine units will target communities including urban Native American communities, LGBT people, people with disabilities and people with specific health needs. The program will also focus on people experiencing homelessness and people without access to a vehicle.

“The mobile vaccination units are another example of the targeted strategies we’re using to better serve communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, including Black, Latinx, Asian Pacific Islander, and Native communities,” said Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan in a statement.

The program is a partnership between the Minnesota Department of Health, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, Metro Transit, the Metropolitan Council and the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2022-05-21 at 5.46.37 PM

Video shows officers ended pursuit before fatal crash in Anoka

The crash occurred when the driver fled police during an attempted traffic stop in Coon Rapids.

Eli Hart

6-year-old Eli Hart identified as boy found dead in car trunk

The kindergartner's father was trying to get full custody of his son.

IMG_3509

Boy found dead in trunk of car in Mound was kindergartner

"It is horrifying and difficult to process a tragedy of this magnitude, especially in our close-knit community," the superintendent wrote.

Minneapolis police

Man found yelling for help after being shot in Minneapolis

The shooting occurred on the 800 block of Elwood Avenue North at around 9:15 p.m.

Screen Shot 2022-05-21 at 9.56.21 AM

Minneapolis North principal says she was fired, district says otherwise

“MPS requires schools to follow protocols in times like that and I did not,” Friestleben said.

Kris Richard Severin

Inmate who escaped Minnesota prison is captured

The inmate escaped Wednesday morning.

Brave New Comedy Workshop in downtown Minneapolis.

Brave New Workshop cancels shows due to COVID-19 cases

The shows were scheduled for Friday and Saturday at the Brave New Workshop Comedy Theatre.

Austin Retterath

Body of missing U of M student found in Mississippi River

Austin Retterath was last seen alive in the morning hours of May 8.

"Love" mural seen in St. Paul.

Summer mural events to bring together community, shine light on MN artists

The 2022 Chroma Zone Mural & Art Festival will take place this weekend in St. Paul's Creative Enterprise Zone, with ensuing events happening this summer.

14869-Manitou-Road-NE-Prior-Lake-MN-55372-6110268-image37

Gallery: Remodeled lakeside home in Prior Lake on market for $2.8M

It offers privacy at the end of a dead-end road fronting onto Lower Prior Lake.

golden valley police department

Carjacking outside ice arena in Golden Valley under investigation

Golden Valley PD confirmed it received a report of a carjacking Monday evening.

Related

snow, buses, metro transit

Metro Transit to limit rider numbers on buses maintain social distancing

The announcement comes as Metro Transit has seen a sharp decrease in ridership.

covid, vaccine

70% of Minnesotans aged 16 and up have had at least 1 vaccine dose

The governor acknowledged the progress, but said there is still work to be done.

light rail

Metro Transit increasing passenger limits on buses, trains

Metro Transit for nearly a year has limited the number of passengers on public transit to 25% of capacity and has stressed that people only use it for essential travel.

airport security

State to open COVID vaccine site at MSP Terminal 2

The vaccine site will be open to both travelers and non-travelers.

covid, vaccine

Minnesota could begin offering incentives to get vaccinated, Walz says

Other states have already began offering incentives including cash prizes, scholarships and hunting and fishing licenses.

vaccine, covid

Walz extends $100 vaccine incentive program through next week

According to Walz's office, 55,456 Minnesotans have applied for $100 Visa the gift card after receiving their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Minneapolis City Hall

Minneapolis city employees must get COVID vaccine or be tested regularly

The new requirements will be phased in over the coming weeks.

covid, vaccine

Minnesota 16- and 17-year-olds can now get a COVID-19 booster

Gov. Tim Walz announced 16 and 17-year-olds in the state are now recommended to receive a booster shortly after the CDC cleared the Pfizer shot for that age group.