Roy Wilkins Auditorium to become Minnesota's 5th large-scale vaccine site

Gov. Tim Walz is holding a media call Friday amid the release of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
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Gov. Tim Walz will on Friday announce that the Roy Wilkins Auditorium in St. Paul will become Minnesota's 5th permanent large-scale vaccination site.

The governor is holding a press call Friday afternoon, with Nick Kimball – who is leading the state's COVID-19 communications team – confirming that the governor will announce the Roy Wilkins as the state's 5th community vaccination site.

"Roy Wilkins Auditorium has done COVID testing and some vaccines already. Now, we make it permanent," Kimball tweeted.

Minnesota's four other permanent community vaccination sites are at the Minneapolis Convention Center, the Mall of America, the Mayo Civic Center in Rochester, and the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center.

Like the others, the vaccination sites for now will serve Minnesotans aged 65, educators, and childcare workers, with Kimball saying the new St. Paul site will have 6,000 doses available over the next week.

Minnesota welcomed its first tranche of more than 45,000 doses of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine this week, and in response launched a five-day vaccination drive at the Twin Cities Orthopedics Center in Eagan, where more than 13,000 vaccines will be administered.

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Walz has said that access to vaccines will be opened up to the next priority members of populations once 70% of the state's over-65 population has received at least one doses of vaccine.

As of Friday morning, 58% have received one dose, with Walz saying Minnesota is on track to beat his initial projecting of hitting 70% by the end of March.

You can sign up for vaccines using the Minnesota Vaccine Connector here.

If you're in Greater Minnesota, Thrifty White currently has more than 10,000 vaccine appointments. You can find them here.

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