A state vaccine bus administered all its doses of COVID-19 vaccination when it visited Borderland June 14.
All 100 Johnson & Johnson single dose vaccinations were administered, exceeding the expectations of state officials, said Amanda Theisen, senior public relations specialist, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, a partner in the program.
“Any time we can vaccinate someone who may not otherwise have access to the vaccine, we consider it a worthy effort,” she said.
The program has administered more than 5,600 vaccine doses to Minnesotans to protect them against COVID-19.
“We’ve heard from many patients that they may not have received the vaccine if it weren’t for a mobile clinic visiting their community” she said. “The purpose of the buses is to provide equitable access to vaccines and to help overcome barriers that many communities face – such as technology, transportation, language, scheduling and wanting to be vaccinated in a more familiar setting. We’re proud to be doing our part to help Minnesota get as many people vaccinated as possible.”
The event coincided with a local Ruby’s Pop-up Pantry distribution for convenience of the public.
Theisen said Koochiching County Public Health officials are working with the state to determine if a second bus clinic is wanted in the coming weeks and the logistics to make that happen.
Each bus is prepared to vaccinate around 100 people each day, depending on travel time. Everyone with an appointment will be able to get the vaccine. All COVID-19 vaccines are free. IDs, proof of citizenship, and insurance are not required. The buses are ADA accessible.
The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, Metro Transit, the Metropolitan Council, and Minnesota Department of Transportation are partners in an effort to bring mobile COVID-19 vaccination clinics to communities throughout the state. Metro Transit turned six underutilized transit buses into mobile vaccination clinics by removing seating and installing new equipment.