MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Roy Wilkins Auditorium in downtown St. Paul has become a mass COVID-19 vaccination clinic, inoculating teachers and child care workers starting Thursday at noon.
The clinic will run through Monday, giving 15,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine to metro area educators and child care workers. It’ll be the first mass vaccination site in Minnesota.READ MORE: 'I Live In A Cemetery': Teen Writer Shares Perspective On Life In North Minneapolis
When people arrive at the clinic, they’ll have their temperature taken, receive a mask and spread out into six lanes that feed 36 vaccination stations. The goal is to have those getting the vaccine in and out in five to six minutes.
After getting the vaccine, people will be placed in a holding area for about 15 minutes, just to make sure they don’t show signs of allergic reaction or significant side effects.
Because the educators and child care workers will be getting the Moderna vaccine, they’ll need return to a pop-up site 28 days later to receive their second dose.
Minnesota National Guard members will be at the clinic, offering help with traffic and the flow of people throughout the site.
The vaccinations in week two of the pilot programs were handled differently at Roy Wilkins, as the state only guaranteed spots for educators by regions, rather than allocating a specific number of vaccines to each school district. This left it up to the districts to send out invites to educators on their priority list.READ MORE: COVID In Minnesota: MDH Says State Has Seen 14 'Vaccine Breakthrough Cases'
Districts were instructed to send out invites no earlier than 6 p.m. Tuesday night, giving priority educators first-come, first-served access.
A Department of Education spokesperson said it’s likely some of the invites went out early, and that some staff members forwarded the sign-up code to other educators not on the priority lists, or posted them on public forums.
The state used the same code for all 15,000 available appointments.
WCCO heard from several teachers that were chosen to get the vaccine as priority for this weekend, but by the time they were able to register, they were already on a waiting list.
“There’s teachers I know in other districts that sat in a waiting room for a while that were never able to make an appointment,” a Robbinsdale Area Schools teacher said.
The state faced technical challenges in week one of the pilot vaccine sites. After this week’s issues for educators, the Minnesota Department of Education released a statement saying, in part, “We will continue tweaking this process as we go, so that we can find the best way to ensure every school staff member who wants and needs a vaccine is able to receive one.”MORE NEWS: Clarifying COVID: What Do We Need To Know About The J&J Vaccine?
“In a lot of this there’s just a lot of good neighbor stuff that has to go on and there’s trust to have people not get on and take someone else’s spot,” Gov. Tim Walz said Thursday.
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