COVID-19 Community Mobile Vaccination Bus Project
All Minnesotans deserve access to the COVID-19 vaccine. Yet, access to the vaccine is one of the greatest barriers standing in the way of equitable rates of vaccination in Minnesota right now.
The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, Metro Transit, the Metropolitan Council, and Minnesota Department of Transportation are partnering to bring mobile COVID-19 vaccination clinics to communities throughout the state of Minnesota. Metro Transit turned six underutilized transit buses into mobile vaccination clinics by removing seating and installing new equipment.
The mobile vaccination units are a highly-targeted vaccine distribution strategy, intended to bring vaccines to people who would otherwise have a hard time getting vaccinated due to barriers, including transportation, technology, and geographic barriers.
- All COVID-19 vaccine is free.
- IDs, proof of citizenship, and insurance are not required.
- The buses are ADA accessible.
- 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. In order to meet the needs of all people, please note that some vaccines may be administered outside of the bus.
Selecting bus locations
We are using state demographic data, vaccination data, testing data, and input from trusted community partners, local public health, and MDH equity leadership to select locations. Focus communities for the mobile vaccination units will be under-resourced communities identified using the CDC Social Vulnerability Index.
In addition, community partners can fill out the MDH Community Vaccination Event Request Form to request a mobile vaccine unit.
- Completing this form does not guarantee a visit from a mobile unit. Requests will be prioritized using an equity-driven prioritization tool (looking at demographics and current vaccination locations) and will be balanced with the community program logistical needs and goals. Some community sites might not be best suited for a mobile vaccination unit, but rather a pop-up site or something similar.
- We encourage communities to connect with their local public health agency before requesting a mobile unit. We want to work with community partners that have a vaccination gap that cannot, or is not, already being filled by local public health (whether that be due to staffing capacity, transportation barriers, or other reasons).
- When the bus is scheduled to come to a community site, community partners hosting the bus will be expected reach out to their community to help schedule appointments, identify and plan for accessibility needs, and answer questions. MDH will provide templates and resources to do this.
MDH will work with community organizations to help promote the mobile vaccination unit and get people registered for appointments before it arrives. The community partner/organization will share information with their target community on how to sign-up once they know when a bus will be coming to their community. This helps us make sure all of the available vaccine doses are used and that people from the intended community are able to get vaccinated. The mobile units can vaccinate any Minnesotan 18 years of age and older.
The first buses will deploy on April 19 and will continue to operate Monday through Thursday throughout the summer.