Have safe holidays, get vaccinated

Holiday gatherings are already getting underway so it’s time to think beyond what to bring to a potluck or the […]

A photo of a turkey

Holiday gatherings are already getting underway so it’s time to think beyond what to bring to a potluck or the type of music that is always enjoyed at this time of year.

I like to attend concerts and school and church programs as much as the next person. I enjoy parties, too. It’s great to see longtime friends and get together. Many of us will have holiday gatherings at our community center, work, work programs or activity centers. Or we will spend time with family members. We missed many of those events during the height of the pandemic.

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) reminds everyone who is attending holiday gatherings to make sure to get the updated COVID-19 vaccine. That’s especially important for those of us who live with disabilities. Our immune systems are all too often compromised. COVID-19 for us can mean weeks of illness, if not death.

Safe and effective for ages six months and older, the vaccine will protect you from serious illness. MDH reminds us to take care of yourself and those around you by getting vaccinated ahead of the holiday season.

Unfortunately, a very low percentage of Minnesotans seem to be keeping up with their vaccines. The reports I’ve seem hover below 3 percent. COVID-19 may be here to stay and our situation won’t improve until many more people take vaccinations seriously.

People should not hesitate to get their vaccines and to mask up in public.

Here’s some more resources when you think about those holiday activities and travel.

MDH offers help in tracking COVID-19 trends and other illness trends in Minnesota. It’s a great resource for planning activities. Go to


The federal Centers of Disease Control and Prevention also has many resources online. Find where to get a vaccine, how to get free tests, read updates on national trends and more. This is a good resource for those who will be venturing out of town for the holidays.

What I like about the CDC website is that I can search for a holiday destination in, say, Black Hawk County, Iowa. I can type in the state and county, and see what the disease rate there is. I can plan ahead or even cancel a trip if conditions don’t sound safe.

I am not likely to fly to Iowa. But if my travel involved flying, the CDC website would give me updated information for those plans.

The CDC and MDH websites also include information on flu and other respiratory illnesses. Please take this information seriously. It could save your life and the lives of others.


RSV, flu, and COVID-19 VACCINES: A Critical Tool in the Fight Against Antimicrobial Resistance Visit vaccines.gov for more information.

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