The good news is the Minnesota Department of Health recently released findings that Covid-19 vaccinations have increased steadily during the past two weeks throughout the state, a surge that hadn’t been seen since the first few months of the vaccine availability this past spring. Sources seem to agree this is most likely due to fear of the second more contagious wave, the Delta variant among others.
But as a state, Minnesota, which typically prides itself in helping lead the nation in everything from healthcare to education to the economy, is only ranked 16th according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in the fight to vaccinate all against the coronavirus. And the main culprits are residents in outlying counties who, either due to limited availability of the vaccines or misinformation about their use, are slow in reacting. Stearns County is among 14 of the 87 counties in the state with 55 percent or fewer vaccinated.
One’s first thought is those who don’t, or won’t, get their inoculation, well, survival of the fittest.
But upon a closer look, here’s the breakdown. The CDC and the MDH do not recommend the vaccine for children 12 and under. Now we’re back to school in person starting Tuesday, which means close quarters for all involved. Even though Sartell-St. Stephen and St. Cloud school districts are requiring all students and staff wear masks while in attendance, it just takes one exposure to sweep through an entire classroom, grade or school.
The facts are these:
• Nearly all Covid-19 deaths, since the vaccines have been available, are among those who were not vaccinated.
• There is a small chance of getting Covid-19 after vaccination, but the shot does reduce a person’s chance of being hospitalized and in turn reduces the chance of death.
• Less than 0.004 percent of fully vaccinated persons have been hospitalized due to adverse reactions from the vaccine; and less than 0.001 percent died.
This is not a political game nor an instance of government control. It’s a public health crises, if not a disaster.
We, as adults, need to protect the most vulnerable and the young by sucking it up and getting vaccinated. Delta Air Lines recently implemented a policy to raise health insurance premiums for unvaccinated employees to cover higher Covid costs. Our hope is more employers follow suit.
We salute all frontline workers – health care personnel, first responders, delivery drivers, teachers, grocery store employees, public transportation, factory workers and more – who through their bravery have kept our economy going. We consider them heroes.
Now it’s your turn. Be a hero. Get vaccinated.