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Local vaccines reach milestone

FAIRMONT — According to information provided by Tim Langer, Public Health Sanitarian, of Community Health & Human Services of Faribault and Martin Counties, as of April 16, 2021, 7,846 individuals in Martin County have received at least their first vaccination for COVID-19. 39.5 percent of the population has received at least one dose. The percentage of population over age 65 in Martin County who received their first dose of vaccine is 78.9 percent and the population of those eligible for vaccine (ages 16 and over) vaccinated with at least one dose of vaccine is 49.10 percent.

In Faribault County, 5,276 individuals have received at least their first vaccination for COVID-19. 38.2 percent of the total population has received at least one dose. The percentage of population over age 65 in Faribault County who received their first dose of vaccine is 81.8 percent and the population of those eligible for vaccine (ages 16 and over) vaccinated with at least one dose of vaccine is 47.6 percent.

“As a nation I think we’re ahead of schedule , in terms of vaccination efforts, throughout the country,” said Langer. “I think Minnesota has a very high rate of vaccination. Locally, roughly half of those that are eligible to be vaccinated have been vaccinated.

Langer touts the safety of the vaccines, noting there is a concern about those who are not vaccinated.

“We have vaccines that are safe and effective, and the bottom line is that we encourage people to be vaccinated. This virus is going to continue to spread to those who are not vaccinated and as we are dealing with these variants moving forward, they’ve shown that they spread easier and it’s a concern.

“We do have people that are choosing not to get vaccinated, but the more people that get vaccinated and get protected from this disease, the sooner we can get through this and reach herd immunity.”

Langer stated that Community Health & Human Services has not received any additional vaccine allocations for the last two weeks. This is due to requirements that the vaccine be used within seven days. Since many people have already been vaccinated, there has been problems meeting the seven day deadline.

“At this point we don’t anticipate that we’ll be doing a lot of vaccine work because it’s available everywhere else.”

Mayo Clinic Health System Fairmont received 306 first doses last week and distributed all of them by Saturday, April 17. The United Hospital District and Dulcimer Medical Center did not receive any first dose allocation last week.

Additional opportunities for vaccine exist at the following locations:

— Hy-Vee Fairmont Pharmacy: 507-238-2880

— Wal-Mart Fairmont Pharmacy: 507-235-2517

— Sterling Drug – Fairmont: 507-238-2797

— Thrifty White Drug – Wells: 507-553-3162

— The State of Minnesota Vaccine Connector is another resource for finding vaccination appointments: COVID-19 Vaccination Registration (mn.gov)

Vaccines are available at no cost from any provider. Some providers may ask for insurance information.

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