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Gov. Walz to highlight need for equal access to COVID vaccines

At a press event Tuesday, the governor and community leaders will talk about the ongoing effort to vaccinate all Minnesotans, especially those in BIPOC communities.
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SAINT PAUL, Minn. — Governor Tim Walz and leaders from several community organizations are planning a Tuesday press event to highlight Minnesota's effort to vaccinate as many people as possible, especially those in BIPOC communities. 

StairStep Foundation CEO Alfred Babington-Johnson, HACER Executive Director Rodolfo Gutierrez, and Yao Lo, a job advisor with Lao Family Community will join Gov. Walz and Minnesota Department of Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm. 

These leaders are expected to speak on the state's ongoing efforts to get residents signed up for Minnesota's Vaccine Connector, as well as COVID-19 information specific to their communities in their native languages. 

The news follows information from MDH that shipments of vaccines will resume a normal schedule following disruptions caused by winter storms in Texas and other parts of the southeastern U.S. 

Also announced on Monday, Minnesotans will be able to receive a vaccine at Hy-Vee pharmacies, in addition to Thrifty White and Walmart as part of the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program launched earlier this month. More than 30 Hy-Vee sites across the state are poised to distribute 10,000 vaccines to those 65 and older.

“We’re working to mobilize every opportunity we have to get our Minnesota seniors vaccinated as quickly and safely as possible,” said Governor Walz on Monday. “Today we’re expanding our options for how Minnesotans can get vaccinated and while supply remains frustratingly limited, we will keep working relentlessly to build our provider network and get shots into arms of our most vulnerable populations.”

Walz and state health officials have long said the goal of Minnesota's vaccine effort is to meet residents "where they are," removing barriers of transportation and logistics.  

Recent analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation shows a pattern of Black and Hispanic people receiving smaller shares of vaccinations compared to their shares of cases and deaths and compared to their shares of the total population.

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