Deb Purfeerst, Rice County Public Health Director told KDHL AM Minnesota listeners today it will be, "well into the summer" before most residents are vaccinated against COVID-19.

Purfeerst said,  "I do think through the summer those public health mitigation strategies are still going to be in force.  I think definitely in indoor areas people will still be required to wear masks.  We don't believe we'll be at the general public vaccinations phase until the summer so I would anticipate we will be at the final phase well into the summer."

She added, "I believe we're going to have a fair but I also believe people will need to be wearing masks if they're in indoor locations."

Currently in Rice County 16.7 percent of the population has received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine.  That's a little more than 11,000 people. 58.4 percent of people age 65 and older in Rice County have been vaccinated.

Purfeerst said, "We are definitely moving in the right direction."

Concerning the three vaccines currently available Purfeerst stated, "The clinical trials showed for all three of the vaccines that they were highly effective at preventing serious illness, hospitalization and death."

She added they have not had a lot of complaints of side effects.  The most common has been soreness near the injection site.

"Some people can have some fatigue, feel achy,  have a fever maybe 12 to 36 hours after vaccination.  I would consider those mild and to be expected," the Rice County Public Health Department Director commented, "It's the immune response that your body is generating."

LOOK: Answers to 30 common COVID-19 vaccine questions

While much is still unknown about the coronavirus and the future, what is known is that the currently available vaccines have gone through all three trial phases and are safe and effective. It will be necessary for as many Americans as possible to be vaccinated in order to finally return to some level of pre-pandemic normalcy, and hopefully these 30 answers provided here will help readers get vaccinated as soon they are able.



More From KDHL Radio