• 66°

Minnesota to close all but one mass vaccination sites

MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota is planning to close all but one of its COVID-19 mass vaccination sites by Aug. 7.

A statement from Gov. Tim Walz late Friday said the state will focus on the several hundred smaller vaccination sites around the state, at pharmacies and health care providers.

Minnesota Public Radio reports the state’s COVID-19 vaccination rate has been stagnant in recent weeks, at about two-thirds of residents 16 and older with at least one vaccine dose. Health officials have been turning to small-scale, targeted efforts to get the vaccine to more people.

As of Friday the state reported administering more than 618,000 vaccine doses at the mass vaccination sites since January.

The Mall of America location will be the only state-run mass vaccination site to stay open past the first week of August.

Starting Sunday, July 11, the state-run sites in St. Paul, Oakdale, Lino Lakes, Duluth, Rochester, Mankato and St. Cloud will only offer second doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in their final weeks of operation.

The state-run site at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport will offer the one-dose Johnson and Johnson vaccine until it closes in early August.