The state of Minnesota is administering twice the number of COVID-19 vaccinations per day, on average, than it was just a week ago, the office of Gov. Tim Walz and Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan announced Tuesday.
A day earlier, the state said vaccination clinics will be scaled up and that 11,000 doses of the vaccine, in addition to the 60,000 per week Minnesota has been receiving from the federal government, will be headed our way.
Minnesotans 65 and older are next up for the COVID-protecting shots. Then child-care workers, teachers, school staff, and others, said the state, which has been following a priority list that began appropriately with health care workers, first responders, nursing home residents and staff, and others.
Employers and health care facilities will lead the way in sending out notices when different groups are on deck and can sign up and come get vaccinated. To monitor when it’s your turn and for other information, use the Minnesota Department of Health web tool at mn.gov/covid19/vaccine/find-vaccine/.
Stomping out and getting past this pandemic depends on all of us — just as it has from the very beginning with urges to wear virus-blocking face masks, practice social distancing, and wash our hands and not touch our faces, all of which remain important and simple steps everyone can take.
Now added to the list: for everyone to receive their poke in the arm when their turn is called.
The vaccine is safe and effective. It’s our best hope. Our medical professionals and health experts — from local doctors’ offices to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta — can be trusted on that. They’ve earned the trust. They have no reason to mislead.
“These vaccines have undergone the most intensive safety monitoring in U.S. history,” the CDC states. “Results from these monitoring efforts are reassuring. While some people don’t have any side effects after getting a COVID-19 vaccine, many people will have mild side effects … like pain or swelling at the injection site, a headache, chills, or fever. These reactions are normal and show the vaccine is working.
“The combination of (the) COVID-19 vaccination and following CDC’s recommendations to protect yourself and others offers the best protection,” the agency said. “(The) CDC recommends you get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as you are eligible.”
Vaccinating Minnesotans will be a “large-scale” effort that Minnesota Department of Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm vowed in a meeting Monday with reporters, held virtually, also would be “efficient” and “rapid.” It needs to be, bolstered by the pledge from the administration of President Joe Biden to rapidly get states like Minnesota the vaccine doses they need.
With enough needles in arms, Minnesota and the rest of the U.S. and world can get past this. We can get back to something resembling normalcy, to being able to be with each other again, and to an economy that was roaring a year ago and “is expected to reach (a) pre-pandemic peak by mid-2021,” as the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce reported Tuesday.
Our light of hope can be reached by rejecting unfounded fears that are being spread about the vaccine. It can be reached by all of us continuing to do our part.
Put simply and bluntly: when your turn comes, roll up your sleeve and take your shot. For yourself. For everyone you care about. For a return to health and the normalcy we all crave.
The editorial is the opinion of the Duluth News Tribune Editorial Board.