Minnesotans express hope, excitement as COVID-19 vaccinations increase

A member of medical staff prepare to administer a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. (FOX 9)

Each day, more than 3,000 people come through the line at the Minnesota state fairgrounds to get vaccinated against COVID-19, according to organizers. Those who passed through the line Monday said they are full of hope for the future.

"I’m so excited I almost cried when I got my shot," said Kim Bethke of Spring Lake Park. "So I am so pumped, so ready for this to be over. It feels like we can finally do something to get back to normal."

State data shows more than 50% of Minnesotans are now vaccinated. As more and more Minnesotans get the COVID-19 vaccine, a return to normal finally seems within reach.

"I’m young and healthy and I get a vaccine, which I didn’t think would be on the radar for months or years, so being here today I absolutely feel so much hope," said Bethke.

The CDC is expected to announce eased restrictions for fully vaccinated people this week as recent data suggests it’s very uncommon for a vaccinated individual to catch the virus. It’s welcome news to those who received their first dose Monday.

"I hope that I can start getting out there with my kids and take them to the park and the libraries and start some normal routines," said David Ajo of Coon Rapids.

"I’m going to take an LA trip here in a couple months, so I wanted to be vaxxed up for that," said Deacon Deboer of Minneapolis. "But other than that, I wanted to do it for my own community."

Meanwhile, others say they aren’t letting their guard down just yet.

"I just came from Michigan where they’re spiking, so it’s a little nerve wracking," said Raisa Borris of Brooklyn Park. "So they’re shutting down and then I’m coming here and we’re getting lower."

While things are looking good, state officials aren’t easing any restrictions yet.

"I worry for people who aren’t able to get the vaccine or people that don’t want to get the vaccine," said Kaitlin Remple of New Hope. "I worry it will hold us back, but seeing so many young people especially going out of their way to get the vaccine, it does give me hope."

In some counties in greater Minnesota, the state is seeing much lower vaccine participation. If that continues, it will take us longer to reach herd immunity.