Title: Gov. Tim Walz Encourages Minnesotans to Get Flu and COVID Booster Shots
Subtitle: State Health Leaders Anticipate Arrival of New COVID Vaccine This Week
Minneapolis, MN – In an effort to promote public health and combat the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Tim Walz received his flu shot publicly, urging all Minnesotans to follow suit. He further emphasized the importance of getting the new COVID booster shot once it becomes available.
Governor Walz stressed that although COVID is now in a persistent, albeit low, endemic state, it is crucial for individuals to stay cautious and protected. The new COVID booster shot has been specifically designed to tackle the XBB.1.5 variant, while early studies indicate its potential effectiveness against other variants as well.
To inspire confidence in the vaccination process, Governor Walz openly received all his COVID vaccines and boosters. His aim is to instill trust in others and motivate them to prioritize their health by getting vaccinated.
The much-anticipated new COVID vaccine is expected to arrive in clinics and pharmacies across Minnesota this week. State health leaders, while initially anticipating a speedier arrival, acknowledge that the timeline was overly optimistic.
Since July, COVID hospitalizations in Minnesota have been witnessing a slow rise. However, health officials assure the public that hospitalization rates remain at manageable levels. Concurrently, flu levels in the state are currently low, based on pre-season tracking.
In preparation for the upcoming flu season, the Department of Health will commence in-depth weekly flu surveillance on October 12. Dr. Brooke Cunningham, the state health commissioner, advises individuals not to delay getting their flu shots, as immunity diminishes over time.
It is worth noting that flu shots typically take two weeks to reach their full effect, making it essential to get vaccinated as soon as possible. Dr. Cunningham strongly recommends prioritizing flu vaccinations as a preventative measure against the upcoming season.
As Minnesota continues to navigate the challenges posed by the ongoing pandemic, Governor Tim Walz and state health officials urge residents to take proactive steps in protecting themselves by obtaining flu shots and, once available, the new COVID booster shot. By prioritizing vaccination and practicing caution, Minnesotans can collectively contribute to the state’s ongoing fight against both influenza and COVID-19.
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