Minnesota State Fairgrounds to host FEMA mass vaccination site

MGN

Governor Tim Walz and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced on Monday that Minnesota will receive a federal Community Vaccination Clinic, following the Governor’s request for a fully-supplied mass vaccination site to augment the state’s vaccination efforts.

The site will be located at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds and receive 168,000 doses over eight weeks. The site will administer a combination of Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson doses, which will result in over 100,000 total people being vaccinated during the eight-week period. The doses administered at the Fairgrounds will be in addition to Minnesota’s regular statewide vaccine allocations.

Minnesotans living in the zip codes near the Fairgrounds with the highest scores on the CDC’s Social Vulnerability Index will be eligible for appointments at this site. Up to 1,000 doses per day will also be taken offsite to community-based clinics in high Social Vulnerability Index areas.

“We’ve been pushing for a federal vaccination site, and I’m grateful the Biden-Harris Administration delivered on my request,” said Governor Walz. “I appreciate having such strong federal partners to work with as we set and achieve ambitious goals to vaccinate Minnesotans as equitably and efficiently as possible. This site will help us protect some of the Minnesotans hardest hit by this pandemic as we continue to break down every barrier between each Minnesotan and their life-saving shot.”

Governor Walz pushed for a federal site to provide additional vaccine doses to Minnesota and serve as another avenue to protect the most vulnerable and underrepresented populations in the state. The Minnesota State Fairgrounds were recommended by Minnesota public health officials and selected by FEMA based on equity data analysis, including the CDC’s Social Vulnerability Index. The Fairgrounds are well known, centrally located, accessible by public transportation, and expansive enough to allow for a high volume of drive-through vaccinations. The site will also allow Minnesotans who use other forms of transportation to get vaccinated.

“Our strategy from the beginning has been to immunize for impact and to protect those most at risk for the worst outcomes as quickly as possible. We are fortunate the Biden-Harris Administration also values that strategy,” said Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan. “This site is a welcome addition to our expanding efforts to ensure fair and equitable access to vaccines. We want each and every Minnesotan to know we see you, we have your back, and we will make sure you can easily and safely get your shot.”

Vaccinations will begin at the Fairgrounds on April 14 and serve Minnesotans living in the highest Social Vulnerability Index zip codes near the Fairgrounds. Appointments will be available to Minnesotans 16 years of age and older who live in the following zip codes in Ramsey and Hennepin County: 55454, 55103, 55130, 55411, 55404, 55117, 55428, 55119, 55107, 55106, 55407, 55430, 55412, 55102, 55429, 55421, 55104, 55114, 55432, 55118, 55420, 55413, 55402, 55109, 55406, 55423, 55415, 55405, 55408, 55425, 55112, 55111, 55403, 55101, 55344, 55435, 55113, 55458.

The site will be by appointment only. Minnesotans living in the zip codes listed above can sign up for the Vaccine Connector to be selected for an appointment. Minnesotans can call the Minnesota Department of Health COVID-19 Public Hotline at 1-833-431-2053 for language assistance and any questions about signing up for the Connector. More information on directly booking appointments through a call center will be shared next week.

“We’re proud to work with the whole federal family, and the state of Minnesota, to open this federal vaccination site at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds. The site will greatly expand and expedite vaccine to the most underserved and vulnerable populations,” said Kevin M. Sligh, acting regional administrator, FEMA Region 5. “This site will provide 3,000 doses a day of the COVID-19 vaccine to individuals in historically underserved communities, a significant step toward ending the pandemic for Minnesotans and the nation.”

The site will be allocated 3,000 doses per day, seven days a week, for eight weeks. While the site will be supported by FEMA, it will be run by the State of Minnesota like the other eight Community Vaccination sites currently operating in Oakdale, Minneapolis, Duluth, Rochester, Bloomington, Saint Paul, St. Cloud, and Mankato.

There will be no cost and Minnesotans will not need to provide an ID or medical insurance to be vaccinated.

—Information provided by the Office of Gov. Tim Walz.