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Mayo Clinic gives update on vaccination progress in Olmsted County

ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- Vaccine efforts at Mayo Clinic remain in full swing following last week's shipping disruption.

This week, Mayo obtained more than 2,000 vaccine doses, and with the new plan for Minnesota, optimism is high as approval for a third vaccine is getting closer.

As vaccinations continue, the focus remains on vaccinating people 65 and older.

"Forty-nine percent of our county residents in that age range have received at least one dose from their medical provider, pharmacy or one of the state-run programs," Olmsted County Public Health COVID-19 Planning Section Chief Amy Evans said.

Mayo Clinic Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Abinash Virk

Mayo Clinic Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Abinash Virk is looking ahead to the future.

"Hopefully by the end of March, 70% of people over 65 years of age in Minnesota will be vaccinated such that we can start opening up vaccinating to people less than 65 years of age," Virk said.

She's optimistic about the Johnson & Johnson vaccine getting approval.

"Happy to have another vaccine in the fold so that we can essentially have more options for patients as they go forward," Virk said. "It has very good efficacy, about 85% against serious complications of COVID-19 infections such as hospitalizations, mortality, and I think that's really important to focus on as well."

Since the first vaccine was rolled out, lack of supply has always been the issue. But locally, Olmsted County is progressing.

"Our local vaccine efforts and distribution places us in top five in the state," Evans said.

Evans noted the formation of a team nearly a year ago aimed at keeping the community safe.

"This continued collaboration with our community partners during this response is our greatest local success story and will be for many years to come," Evans said.

Ubah Ali

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