ROCHESTER, Minn. - While we move closer to living without COVID-19 restrictions the Olmsted County Public Health Department and Mayo Clinic want to make sure we get there safely.
A big part of putting this pandemic behind us is getting vaccinated. According to Public Health Director Graham Briggs Olmsted County has already exceeded the 70% vaccination goal set by Gov. Tim Walz.
However, Briggs does say the higher we can push our numbers the more we’ll help the state also reach 70%.
He explained, "We have a lot to celebrate right now. We've got an end in sight with this pandemic. We still have a little bit of work ahead and we really want to encourage those people who have not had access to vaccines at this point to go out and get vaccinated as soon as they can. They're going to help this big push at the end to work our way into a normal summer."
Another way to help us all have a normal summer is to vaccinate kids ages 12-15 years old. Mayo Clinic says FDA approval for a vaccine is expected in the coming weeks and staff is preparing.
Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Abinash Virk says, “We have our electronic health system ready for vaccination of 12 to 15-year-olds. We have to do things a little bit differently additionally for children less than 18 years of age. We have to make sure there's parental consent so we're also working on that.”
Mayo Clinic says staff are essentially ready as soon as the vaccine is approved and staff are working on finding the best way to schedule those appointments so they’re easy to access and efficient.