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50% of eligible Lyon Co. residents vaccinated for COVID-19

MARSHALL — Roughly half of Lyon County residents age 16 and older have gotten at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, data from the Minnesota Department of Health said.

However, area health providers are still urging people to get vaccinated if they haven’t already.

Getting a COVID-19 vaccine can help people prevent severe symptoms of the disease, as well as helping to prevent the spread of the virus, said Carol Biren, public health director at Southwest Health and Human Services.

“We all protect each other,” she said.

As of Monday, more than 2.3 million Minnesotans, or 53% of people age 16 and older, have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, MDH data said. More than 1.64 million people statewide have completed a vaccine series.

In counties in the Marshall area, the percentage of people age 16 and older who have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine ranges from 45% in Redwood County, to 54% in Yellow Medicine County. In Lyon County, a total of 10,019 people, or 50.3% of the population age 16 and older, have received at least one dose. More than 3,700 people age 65 and older — 93% of the county’s seniors — have received at least one vaccine dose.

Biren said SWHHS has continued to hold vaccination clinics, but the numbers of people making appointments has started to slow compared to earlier this year, when vaccines first became available.

“Right away, the people that really wanted it, wanted it now,” Biren said. She said it’s not certain why fewer people are making appointments. Maybe people were waiting their turn, or they needed more information before getting vaccinated, she said.

Biren said the COVID-19 vaccines available are effective, and while there is still a chance that a person could get COVID-19 after being vaccinated, they are much less likely to have severe symptoms. People ages 16 and older should get vaccinated, even if they’ve already had COVID-19 in the past, she said.

Biren said SWHHS will be planning to decide how best to get the word out about available COVID vaccinations in its services area going forward.

“We want to try to work with more high-risk populations,” she said.

Area health providers said this week that they are still able to offer COVID vaccination appointments. Avera Marshall representatives said Monday that the medical center in Marshall had “numerous” appointments available for Minnesota residents.

“We’re ready to offer more vaccinations to people in our community and beyond,” said Avera Marshall Regional President and CEO Debbie Streier. “If you were waiting for your turn to be vaccinated, now’s the time.”

“We encourage everyone to get the COVID vaccine as soon as you can – unless your doctor advises otherwise. Approved vaccines are safe and effective. Vaccination is making a difference — in our area and across the nation,” said Dr. David Basel, vice president for Avera Medical Group Quality. “It’s important for us to get ahead of this virus and the new variants that are appearing, and that means getting as many people vaccinated as quickly as possible. Vaccination of a large number of people is the only way we can begin to get back to normal.”

New cases of COVID-19, and deaths, continue to be reported across Minnesota. On Wednesday, the MDH reported five new positive cases in Lyon County, and the death of a Lincoln County resident in their 90s. There have been a total of 3 COVID-19 deaths reported among Lincoln County residents. Lincoln County has also had a total of 546 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic.

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