Your questions answered: Wilkin County’s vaccine incentive

Wilkin County Public Health was awarded $500 in state funding to run the incentive program. The incentive will only apply to those vaccinated in June or those who set up an appointment to be vaccinated before the fair.

Wilkin County Public Health will offer a limited number of wristbands/weekly passes for the Wilkin County Fair to Minnesota residents who have been recently vaccinated or set up an appointment to get vaccinated in time for the fair.

Daily News caught up with Ashley Wiertzema, Wilkin County Public Health, to address questions and misconceptions about the incentive program.

Can I still go to the fair if I’m unvaccinated?

Yes.

Will all vaccinated people be getting into the fair for free?

No. Only around 40 people will receive a wristband or weekly pass.

Wilkin County Public Health was awarded $500 in state funding to run the incentive program. The incentive will only apply to those vaccinated in June or those who set up an appointment to be vaccinated before the fair. Weekly passes and wristbands will be given to individuals on a first-come, first-serve basis, Wiertzema said.

How is the Wilkin County Fair involved?

It’s not, really. Wilkin County Public Health bought the wristbands and tickets from the fair using the $500 they were awarded from the state of Minnesota. The Wilkin County Fair will not be letting anyone in for free based on vaccination status.

Why is a vaccination push being done in conjunction with the Wilkin County Fair?

When the state rolled out their vaccination incentive program, “Your Shot to Summer,” in May, Wilkin County Public Health decided they wanted to do something local, Wiertzema said. The state incentive program included rewards like a Minnesota State Parks pass, State Fair tickets and a Minnesota fishing license, Daily News previously reported.

“We thought that the county population would prefer something local more,” Wiertzema said. “That way they wouldn’t have to drive three and a half hours. That’s why we decided to do our local fair, to give them business as well as give the public something close to home.”

Is the vaccine safe for youth aged 12 and over?

Yes. If people have questions, they can always look at the research conducted by the CDC and Minnesota Department of Health, Wiertzema said.

“There are great resources out there, and I encourage people to check those out,” she said.

Information on vaccine safety is available here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/safety/safety-of-vaccines.html. Information on vaccine efficacy is available here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/effectiveness.html.

Alternatively, individuals can search “Is the COVID-19 vaccine safe for youth,” and click on a source ending in .gov or .org.

Bottom line?

“This is a very small thing that we could do while also supporting our local community. If it gets us five more people that are vaccinated, great. If it gets us 10 more, that’s great, too,” Wiertzema said. “It helps us build that herd immunity.”

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