ROCHESTER, Minn. - Minnesota has been seeing a slight increase in COVID-19 cases recently among younger people with a majority of those cases due to variants.
Olmsted County Public Health says it’s concerning since the cases can be more transmissible which could lead to a strain on the health care facilities.
The department, along with Mayo Clinic, are asking people who have been putting off getting vaccinated because they’re “low-risk” to sign up to receive their shot as soon as possible.
Dr. Melanie Swift with Mayo Clinic said, “It's now time for people to step up even though they were trying to wait until higher risk people went through.”
The healthcare facilities say they’re reaching a vaccine saturation point where there are more than enough shots for the community. Director Graham Briggs says there may be more vaccine than people seeking it which could result in doses being shipped elsewhere.
“As we reach the saturation point we're also partnering with other local health departments and our health care providers and so if we have 200-300 doses left that we can't fill appointments for we can move those doses over to other facilities in the area,” said Briggs.
Neither facility has had to throw away any doses at this point but in order to prevent that from happening Briggs says they need hesitant community members to step up and get their shot.
Briggs explained, “Encouraging people to think twice if they decided they don't want the vaccine, to really think seriously about how it can help protect, not just them, but their family and their co-workers and those around them and really is the pathway to most quickly get us back to what we would call normal."
Olmsted County says 69% of the population 16 and older have received at least one dose of vaccine with 54% being fully vaccinated.
COVID-19 vaccines are now available to everyone at Mayo Clinic, even if they’re not a patient.