By WCCO-TV Staff

MINNEAPOLS (WCCO) — Gov. Tim Walz announced Wednesday the arrival of a federal medical team to increase the availability of the COVID-19 monoclonal antibody treatments for Minnesotans, and expand the Mall of America’s community vaccination location.

Walz requested the Federal Emergency Management Agency medical team to support the state’s strategy of providing more COVID-19 tools to Minnesotans by vaccinating everyone eligible and providing treatments to those who are sick, said the release.

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“We have powerful tools at our disposal to fight COVID-19: getting vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself and others from the virus, and treatments like monoclonal antibodies can help sick Minnesotans get better. To make sure more Minnesotans can access these life-saving vaccines and treatments, we requested and have received significant support from FEMA,” said Walz.

According to the release, 16 FEMA personnel are coming to Minnesota this week to support vaccination and monoclonal antibody treatment efforts.

With the FEMA team’s, capacity at the MOA vaccination site will increase from 1,500 doses per day to 2,000. Sine Nov.3, the site has administered almost 14,000 doses to five-to-11-year-olds, and 800 booster shots to adults last week alone.

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The FEMA team will also allow more COVID-19 patients in central Minnesota to receive the monoclonal antibody treatment, said the release. The treatment can help qualifying patients get better faster.

“Monoclonal antibody treatments are an important tool, but they are not a substitute for vaccination. All those who are eligible should get vaccinated,” said Minnesota Department of Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm.

To learn more, visit COVID-19 medication options.

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