Dakota County topped the 70% COVID-19 vaccination rate milestone, and county public health workers are shifting their vaccine effort to add more clinic locations and reach unvaccinated residents in their community.

The county crossed the 70% vaccination threshold recently as more than 231,000 residents ages 16 and up have received at least one COVID-19 shot. The 70% milestone is a state and national goal to reach by early July. Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two doses. The Johnson and Johnson vaccine requires one shot.

The vaccines are effective at curbing the spread of COVID-19 and minimizing the seriousness for those who get the virus. As the vaccination rate has increased, the number of COVID-19 cases has dropped. The most recent weekly positivity rate was less than 2%. That’s down from the county’s highest-recorded positivity rate of 14.5% in November. The county has also seen a sharp drop in COVID-19 deaths. There has been a total of 46,701 confirmed cases among county residents during the pandemic.

Dakota County Public Health has partnered with health care organizations and volunteers to vaccinate more than 67,000 people. Public Health launched a mass vaccination clinic this spring at Burnsville’s Metcalf Middle School and conducted more than 28,000 vaccinations there. The last day of the Metcalf clinic will be June 14. Public Health will open two clinic locations in mid-June — Dakota County Western Service Center in Apple Valley on Wednesdays and Dakota County Northern Service Center in West St. Paul on Thursdays.

Public Health continues to host mobile clinics in Dakota County communities, including at apartments, neighborhoods and businesses. Eleven mobile clinics conducted since early May have vaccinated more than 450 residents.

The county also launched at-home vaccinations for people who need to stay at home and are unable to attend a clinic.

Besides protecting yourself from COVID-19 and helping others, Dakota County and the state of Minnesota are offering incentives for people to get the vaccine. County incentives include vouchers for activities, coupons and food at the Mall of America. The state is offering a variety of incentives.

To find a vaccine clinic, visit www.dakotacounty.us, search covid-19 vaccine.

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