MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — During his first full day in office, President Joe Biden signed nearly a dozen executive orders as part of his strategy to tackle the COVID pandemic.

He then ordered a ramping up of vaccine production Thursday. Biden said the country’s in a war against the coronavirus.

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In Minnesota, Department of Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm says they are actively lobbying the federal government for more vaccine doses.

“While we continue to push for that and certainly have the demand for that, we’re busy building up the infrastructure in Minnesota so we’re ready to get out larger amounts of vaccine as soon as those come available to us,” Malcolm said.

Nine community vaccination sites opened Thursday as part of a pilot program. Malcolm says Minnesota’s vaccine delivery system will continue to include sites like that, but they should be a complementary piece of the overall picture.

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“Most people, quite frankly, will be getting their shots from their healthcare providers, or eventually perhaps from a community pharmacy,” Malcolm said.

Other avenues of vaccine distribution are also being explored, which Malcolm encourages.

A spokesperson with the city of Minneapolis said the city wants to turn the Minneapolis Convention Center into a vaccination site and is pursuing that possibility. Representatives for U.S. Bank Stadium and Target Field say neither venue has been discussed as a possible vaccination site.

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Biden aims to open 100 federal sites in larger venues by next month. His goal is to get 100 million people vaccinated by May. He also issued a federal mask mandate Thursday for airports and planes.

David Schuman