Updated: April 27, 2021 07:01 PM
Created: April 27, 2021 05:48 PM
Gov. Tim Walz is expecting 70% of Minnesotans will have at least received one shot of the COVID-19 vaccine by the end of May.
He is also hinting that restrictions in Minnesota could soon be eased.
Walz spoke to the media in Richfield Tuesday afternoon with one of two Metro Transit buses that have been reconfigured into mobile COVID-19 vaccination clinics.
Working with community partners, the buses will set up in areas where there may be technology and transportation difficulties, as well as language barriers.
Twenty-two-year-old Angela Mendez was one of the first in line to get her shot on the bus.
"I would get on the bus to go to the state fair, but now I get on the bus to take my COVID-19 vaccine," Mendez shares.
The buses are a unique partnership between Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, the Minnesota Department of Health, the Minnesota Department of Transportation and the Met Council.
"We are doing that next step to make it as easy as possible for people to walk out of their apartments, walk across the parking lot, get their vaccine and go back home in 20 minutes," Walz said.
"It was super easy," said Danny Sanchez through an interpreter. "I didn't have to go far it's right here in my own home, and it's easy for the community if it's here."
Richfield Mayor Maria Regan Gonzalez works in the population health field with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota
"We want to make sure we are taking a community approach to making sure our communities are healthy, and we know that means different things for different people, so this is a perfect example of what that looks like," she said.
Regan Gonzalez says the ability to envision and then bring this mobile vaccinator to life is a game-changer.
"People love it, it's been really great and it shows how innovative we can be as a community," Gonzalez said.
Walz says it is program like this that could help loosen more restrictions in our state soon.
There are two buses out now, but there will be six by early May, going all over the state.
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