ST PAUL, Minn. — With the number of Minnesotans who were initially motivated to get immunized against COVID-19 dwindling, Gov. Tim Walz and state health officials are taking steps to reach other groups: those who might be hesitant, or are ambivalent about getting vaccinated.
The governor announced Friday that all nine state-sponsored community vaccination sites give COVID shots on a walk-in basis, effective immediately.
The clinics in Bloomington (Mall of America), Saint Paul (Roy Wilkins Auditoum), Lino Lakes and Oakdale will vaccinate those age 16 or older. Walk-ins for Minnesotans 18 and over are now accepted at Mankato, Duluth, Rochester, and St. Cloud.
The administration is encouraging parents, guardians and families to join 16- and 17-year-olds and get vaccinated at the same time. State Community Vaccination Program sites cannot immunize 16 or 17-year-olds without the consent of a parent or guardian, provided either at the clinic with a walk-in appointment or during the pre-registration process for appointments booked online.
The federally-supported State Fairgrounds site is not currently accepting walk-ins at this time as it is currently administering second doses
“To end this pandemic, we need as many Minnesotans vaccinated as possible, as quickly as possible,” said Governor Walz in a released statement. “Walk-in vaccinations help us do just that by reducing barriers to make it even easier for folks to get their shot. The sooner we get shots in arms, the sooner we can get back to the things we love and the people we miss. We want Minnesotans to pile in the car, walk in to a state site and get the whole family vaccinated.”
On Thursday, the governor told Minnesotans the statewide mask mandate would end as soon as 70% of those currently eligible to be vaccinated (age 16-plus) have received at least one dose.
Those who feel more comfortable making an appointment at a state community vaccination site can do so by logging on to the state Vaccine Connector website.
State health officials are also urging young people to get tested every two weeks, with those in athletics encouraged to get tested every week to prevent a spike in COVID cases like Minnesota saw recently. Either walk in or book a testing appointment online at one of the state testing centers, or order a test through Minnesota's at-home COVID-19 testing program.