ROCHESTER, Minn. - Olmsted County is getting a big check from the State of Minnesota to help improve the efforts to give out the COVID-19 vaccine.
In total, the county will be receiving over $154,000 from the Minnesota Department of Health. On Tuesday, the Olmsted County Board of Commisioners voted to accept the grant.
Those dollars will go to speed efforts to give out the vaccines, within one week of receiving the doses. The money will also be sued to work with local providers, like nursing homes and pharmacists to ensure priority groups are getting the shots.
Finally, the grant will go towards extending clinic hours, possibly to nights and weekends.
During the meeting, we heard from Olmsted County Public Health Director Graham Briggs, who stressed the need for getting the vaccine out as quickly as possible.
"We are in a race with the virus now. The more people that we get vaccinated, the more we push down transmission as a country and here locally, the less chance we give this virus to mutate," said Briggs.
Briggs also said about 8% of the county has had COVID-19 and when you add in the people who have been vaccinated, he estimates about 1 in 3 residents have some sort of immunity to the virus.
Across the state, the Minnesota Department of Health is giving out $6.9 million to public health agencies to aid in their efforts to give out the vaccine.