Repurposed Metro Transit buses will become 'mobile vaccination units'

The program will start this week with two buses.
Publish date:
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

Willians Astudillo

Twins pitchers decimated: 16 runs, 18 hits, 8 walks ... 4 strikeouts

The White Sox hammered the Twins 16-4 but Astudillo took the mound in the ninth.


Girl shot in the head at birthday party 'fighting for her life'

Trinity Ottoson-Smith was struck by a bullet in the head last weekend.

Kelly Kleine

Broncos hire Vikings' Kelly Kleine as highest-ranking woman scout in NFL history

Kleine will reunite in Denver with former Vikings executive George Paton.

Joel Eriksson Ek

Wild looks to exorcise demons from haunted Game 2 history

The Wild have lost nine straight Game 2s entering Tuesday night's tilt with Vegas.


Woman who died in crash after car lost tire in Minneapolis is ID'd

The 35-year-old Minneapolis woman was originally from Mahnomen.

Flickr - fishing minnesota 2020 -Lorie Shaull

Curious conservation officer reports from the Minnesota DNR

Gravel thieves, raucous campers and some quick thinking that backfired.

St. Paul police squad

Police 'tactically disengage' from standoff in St. Paul

The incident lasted approximately 2 1/2 hours.


Another Raising Cane's set to open in the Twin Cities

This will be the 11th Raising Cane's restaurant in the metro area.

kimberly potter

Trial of former police officer Kimberly Potter starts Dec. 6

Potter is charged in the shooting death of Daunte Wright.

Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis.

Health care workers ratify tentative agreement with Allina Health

The union was threatening a strike just two weeks ago.


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.

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.

covid, vaccine

You can now book appointments at Minnesota's mass vaccination sites directly

Minnesota has now administered more than 4 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

covid-19, vaccine

Here's how Minnesota is prioritizing who gets the COVID-19 vaccine

The first four weeks will see enough to vaccinate 183,000 Minnesotans.

covid, vaccine

Minnesota's vaccine progress being hit by federal delays, leaders say

The Biden-Harris COVID prevention plan will be released Thursday.

covid, vaccine

Faribault, Martin counties struggle to fill vaccine appointments

The counties have opened up appointments to nonresidents.

Blue Line light rail Metro Transit

Metro Transit workers threaten strike

Unionized Metro Transit workers rejected a contract offer from the Metropolitan Council by a 94% vote.