“Over 25% of Minnesotans have had at least one dose of a vaccine and 15% are fully vaccinated,” Amy Evans, Olmsted County Public Health COVID-19 Planning Section chief, said.
Three COVID-19 specialists met virtual on March 25 to update the community about the progression of the vaccine in Minnesota.
Here is what you need to know:
Who is currently being vaccinated?
The priority this week has been food processing workers and all other businesses that are eligible.
“The sooner the employers fill out the form, the sooner their employees can get vaccinated,” Evans said.
On Tuesday, March 30, the state plans on offering vaccinations to everyone over the age of 16. Watch the latest updates for more information.
How is the vaccine affecting the long term symptoms of COVID-19?
There is no data available about how the vaccine can help or hinder the long-term effects of COVID-19.
Dr. Abinash Virk, infectious disease specialist for Mayo Clinic, said, “If people are having significant symptoms they should see their primary care provided for asyptimac management.”
Why are people who are fully vaccinated still receiving positive test results for COVID-19?
To date, 89 Minnesotans have tested positive after being fully vaccinated. However, their symptoms could have been a lot worse if they hadn’t had the vaccine, medical professionals said.
“These vaccines are very effective in preventing severe disease, so in terms of preventing hospitalization, severe complications of COVID-19 and mortality, they are extremely effective, we are talking near 100%,” Virk said. “When we talk about in general COVID-19 infection, you know they are not 100%, but the infection may not be as severe.”
Are the vaccines covered by health insurance?
All three variations of the vaccine are 100% free with or without insurance.
“There can be an administration charge to the patient's insurance that the insurance pays,” Virk said. “If a patient does not have insurance then many of the time that is not charged.”
Are appointments fully booked all the time?
“We are not seeing any heistanty in our appointments being filled,” Virk said. “Our appointments are filling rapidly.”
Over 115,000 individuals and patients have been vaccinated with at least the first does at all Mayo Clinic sites.
Those who want the vaccine can sign up for the Minnesota Vaccine Connector to find out when, where and how to get it.
Does Minnesota have enough vaccines for everyone who wants one?
Dr. Randy Hemann, chief medical officer, Olmsted Medical Center, said “We have a problem with supply and keeping up with the demand out there.”
As fast as Minnesota is receiving doses of all three vaccines -- Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson, those are being distributed to patients.
“COVID-19 is still present in our community and we want to remind everyone that there are three things that they need to do,” Evans said. “It is important to get tested if needed, practice public health guidelines and to stay home when you have symptoms.”