In January, the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) initiated a pilot program to vaccinate metro area teachers and childcare workers, an effort that included two of Community Action’s Head Start centers (Ruth Benner and North St. Paul). After the initial phase of this program was completed, Governor Walz announced that an additional allocation of 15,000 vaccines had been reserved for area teachers, and thus, staff from all 11 Community Action Head Start sites became eligible to be vaccinated as part of phase two.
Vaccines were distributed to teachers and childcare workers at Roy Wilkins Auditorium in St. Paul’s RiverCentre through Monday, February 1. And this, coupled with other efforts around the state helped more than 27,000 Minnesotans receive their first doses of the coronavirus vaccine in just the past five days alone. Teachers inoculated at this location will also receive their second doses of the vaccine at the RiverCentre site. This DHS pilot program is a critical step in stemming the spread of COVID-19 among educators, support staff, and the children and families that they serve.
As the vaccine supply currently remains limited, the Governor announced that this week, 35,000 doses of the vaccine have been earmarked specifically for senior citizens, which are to be distributed at 122 sites statewide, including two permanent mass vaccination sites in the cities of Minneapolis and Duluth. The Minnesota COVID-19 Response website is providing an interactive locator map to assist seniors in locating the nearest vaccination sites. DHS officials are reminding all Minnesotans that we are still months away from the capacity to vaccinate everyone in our state. Please continue to follow the Minnesota COVID-19 Response site here and our Working Together blog for the latest updates and developments related to the coronavirus vaccine.