MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Minnesota Vikings are teaming up with state health officials to administer more than 13,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
In a news release Thursday, Gov. Tim Walz announced that the team’s training facility, the Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center in Eagan, will become a temporary community vaccination site this week, offering 13,400 doses of the one-shot vaccine to health care workers and Minnesotans ages 65 and older.
The site will run from Friday to Tuesday, open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Vaccinations will be by appointment only. Patients randomly selected for the shot will be contacted directly.
The governor says this partnership with the Vikings is an example of the state’s growing vaccine network and another step toward a return to normalcy.
This is new: @GovTimWalz holds a news conference at the Vikings training facility, which has transformed to a mass vaccination site. 13,400 MN seniors will Johnson & Johnson shots here over five days. @wcco pic.twitter.com/mSR2AT1T7D
— Caroline Cummings (@CaroRCummings) March 5, 2021
“We are looking forward to being in the stands for high school football under the Friday night lights, the Gophers dominating on Saturdays, and the Vikings winning on Sundays this fall,” the governor said, in a statement. “When vaccine supply from the federal [government] meets demand, partnerships like this with the Vikings will help push us over the goal line in the battle against COVID-19.”
So far, the state has administered more than 1.4 million doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, both of which require two shots to be fully effective. As of Monday, nearly 9% of the state’s population had received the full vaccine series.
Currently, the groups eligible for the vaccine in Minnesota are seniors, frontline health care workers, educators, child care workers, and residents in long-term care facilities. Last week, Walz said that the vaccine rollout will expand to include Minnesotans with underlying health conditions and essential workers once 70% of seniors are vaccinated. As of Monday, 54% of seniors had received at least one vaccine shot.
All adults in Minnesota should expect to be eligible for the vaccine by summer, the governor said last week. However, that timeline could be bumped up as the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is now being manufactured with the help of rival drugmaker Merck.
On Wednesday, more than 45,000 doses of the one-shot vaccine arrived in the state, just five days after the FDA approved the vaccine for use in the United States.