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St. Cloud to be location of Minnesota's 6th large-scale vaccination site

The 5th recently opened in St. Paul.

Gov. Tim Walz has announced that Minnesota's 6th large-scale community vaccination site will be located in St. Cloud.

The governor says the new "permanent" site is launching this week at the River's Edge Convention Center, which had previously served as a pop-up vaccination site that administered 4,800 doses between Jan. 21 and Feb. 22.

The other permanent vaccination sites in Minnesota can be found at the Minneapolis Convention Center, Roy Wilkins Auditorium in St. Paul, the Mall of America in Bloomington, the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center, and the Mayo Civic Center in Rochester.

The governor will be at the new St. Cloud site on Wednesday, where he will speak before taking questions from the media.

Minnesota's vaccine rollout has plateaued at around 40,000 doses a day after an acceleration over the past month, but increased supplies are expected from the federal government in the coming weeks that should allow the state to step up its program.

Last Wednesday, the state expanded eligibility to allow some essential workers and those with certain chronic medical conditions to get vaccinated. President Joe Biden has called on states to make all American adults eligible for vaccines from May 1.

And Minnesota health officials say getting people vaccinated as quickly as possible is all the more vital given the state has seen an uptick in COVID-19 cases over the past couple of weeks, which comes amid an outbreak of the virus – including the more contagious U.K. variant – in Carver County.

“As we continue to expand eligibility statewide, our community vaccination sites help us to continue leading the nation in getting shots in arms,” said Governor Walz. “The state’s Vaccine Connector is working as planned to help connect more Minnesotans to their COVID-19 vaccine, and the River’s Edge Convention Center site further expands opportunities for Minnesotans to access this safe, effective vaccine.”

“We still need more vaccine, but the steadily growing network of providers and state sites is key to delivering once federal supply ramps up. As we did with testing, we will expand access until every Minnesotan has easy access to the shot, regardless of where they live.”

You can sign up for Minnesota's Vaccine Connector, which notifies you when you're eligible for a vaccine and highlights available appointments, by clicking here.

You can also find local providers on the state's vaccine finder map here.

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