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MDH encourages enjoyment for holiday weekend

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (KTTC) -- The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) is encouraging fully vaccinated people to enjoy the Memorial Day weekend with friends and family.

The coming weekend marks the first holiday in more than a year where people have been free to celebrate with others.

"If you're fully vaccinated and your family members are fully vaccinated, you can really enjoy being together. If you are not vaccinated, you want to be masking and socially distancing," said MDH Infectious Disease Director Kris Ehresmann.

As vaccination numbers increase, the rate of distribution is declining. To deal with that, MDH is focusing on community events to get shots into arms.

"To having a strategy that is much more targeted and much more community focused. So yes, we're finishing up the state fair site, but not as many ultra large site but smaller more targeted vaccination. So as a result, we're getting people vaccinated, but not at the same volume that we had in the past," said Ehresmann.

According to MDH, those in places deemed "socially vulnerable" have benefitted the most from these community events.

"Since setting our equity allocation goal, we have seen a decrease in the gap of first dose coverage between Minnesotans living in high SVI [social vulnerability index] zip codes to the statewide average," said MDH Vaccine Equity Director Dr. Nathan Chomilo. "And while we still have a ways to go, this notable progress is due to an incredible amount of work that have gone into supporting community vaccination events."

The state fair site will be open through June 8. It's offering the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Appointments are being taken, but one is not necessary.


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