ST. CLOUD -- State and local health officials are expanding their reach when it comes to administering the COVID-19 vaccine.

CentraCare Health staff, in collaboration with the Minnesota Department of Health, have created a "mobile strike team" to help administer the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.

Ashley Jude is the Program Coordinator. She says it's all about reaching areas across the state, who may not be able to go or have access to a clinic to get the vaccine.

We target populations that may not be able to mobilize to get everyone vaccinated, but there is a community benefit to getting everyone vaccinated. For example we've visited some low income housing areas, homeless shelters, a half-way house, we've done a monastery.

Jude says the program is run through MDH, who are contacted by interested groups, then that message is relayed to them on which group or organization to visit based on the state's priority list.

MDH reaches out to me and says we have these sites can I push them to you. When I get that contact information I reach out the group to see if they still need our services and if so we try and get something scheduled from there.

She says their team covers a 38 county region and how many stops they make in a day is determined by both need and location.

Jude says since the start of February they have vaccinated roughly 350 people who might not otherwise receive the vaccine.

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