Mayo Clinic begins distributes COVID-19 booster shot, hospitalizations expected to rise

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(ABC 6 News) – Health officials are continuing to urge people to get vaccinated to help stop the spread of Covid-19 and its variants.

Wednesday, Mayo Clinic starting giving out the third Covid-19 vaccine dose to those who qualify. The booster shot is meant for those with immune deficiencies, and for people who have certain medical conditions or might be undergoing chemotherapy.

Notices for nearly 17-thousand individuals were sent out this week for those whose eligible for the booster shot. By Tuesday evening, nearly one-thousand scheduled their appointment. Mayo said Wednesday morning was fairly busy with 340 vaccinated by afternoon.

"They had a line out the door. I visited about an hour into the clinic and they had cleared out the line and things were moving along well. I don’t have absolute numbers at this point. I don’t have the number of people who got notices but it would be in the thousands," Co-chair of Mayo Clinic’s COVID-19 Vaccine Allocation and Distribution Work Group, Dr. Melanie Swift said.

As the delta variant continues spreading, case numbers in southeastern Minnesota have been rising and experts say the surge could continue for weeks.

"Our modeling data does predict that we will see cases continue to rise and hospitalizations to continue to rise for the next 3 weeks or so at least so we are preparing for an even higher census," Swift said.

Doctor Swift noted that the hospital is full and busy, but that it is not necessarily because of covid instead, it’s due to putting off surgeries, check-ups throughout the pandemic and are choosing now to get them.