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Getting to 70%

About 60% of Minnesotans 16 and older have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine. State officials would like the figure to get to 70%. One would think getting to 70 from 60 would be relatively easy, especially given that the supply of vaccines is up and the state is even encouraging walk-in vaccinations.

Gov. Tim Walz has promised to end the state’s mask mandate for public indoor places as soon as we get to 70 percent, or by July 1 at the latest.

And yet the pace of Minnesotans lining up for a vaccination is slowing. It may be old story of the low-hanging fruit — those people who want the vaccine, who believe in its efficacy and to want to make themselves and others safer have been getting vaccinated. Those who are reluctant, who have been hearing the anti-vax message about the possible side effects or who still think the COVID-19 pandemic is some kind of conspiracy will be a tougher sell.

It may take more persuasion, more education, more listening, more encouraging to overcome the reluctance of some people. One-on-one communication with a trusted member of someone’s community is a good way to overcome that reluctance, but it is time consuming.

We encourage everyone who has not yet received a vaccination to get one. If you have questions or doubts, ask a doctor you trust, ask Southwest Health and Human Services, or look on reliable web sites for information.

The sooner we can get to 70%, the sooner all of our lives can start returning to normal.

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