MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Roy Wilkins Auditorium will again become a COVID-19 vaccination site, Gov. Tim Walz announced Friday.
In a statement, the governor said the St. Paul auditorium will become the state’s fifth large-scale permanent vaccination site. Other such sites are located in Minneapolis, Duluth, Rochester, and Bloomington.
“As the federal government ramps up vaccine supply, each new permanent site helps make sure we continue to be a nation leader in getting vaccine into arms,” Walz said, in a statement.
When the Roy Wilkins Auditorium opens this week, it’ll serve nearly 6,000 people with doses of the Pfizer vaccine. Those served will be seniors, child care workers, pre-kindergarten through 12th grade educators, and school staff.
Previously, the auditorium was used earlier this year in the state’s vaccine pilot program. Some 30,000 vaccine doses were administered there since late January.
The Roy Wilkins is the second vaccination site set to open this week. On Friday, the Vikings training facility in Eagan opened a temporary clinic to offer seniors and the health care workers the newly-approved Johnson & Johnson vaccine. That clinic runs through early next week.
Friday also marked the one year since the first person tested positive for COVID-19 in Minnesota. Since last March, more than 487,000 people in the state have tested positive for the virus and 6,521 people have died.
The state’s vaccination plan is currently focused on getting 70% of seniors vaccinated before expanding the rollout to include Minnesotans with underlying health conditions and certain groups of essential workers. As of this week, nearly 56% of seniors have gotten at least one shot of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.
According to the governor’s plan, all Minnesota adults should be eligible to get a vaccine shot by the summer.
To find where to get a vaccine, or if you’re eligible, use the state’s Vaccine Connector tool.