PJ Fleck, Lindsay Whalen among Minnesota's COVID-19 vaccine ambassadors

Gophers football coach PJ Fleck, Lynx legend Lindsay Whalen and singer Dessa are among a list of leaders tapped to act as COVID-19 vaccine ambassadors for the state of Minnesota.

According to the governor's office, these local leaders will be spreading the word about the importance of getting vaccinated through texts, calls and emails. Here's a list of those participating:

  • Pat Baustian, Mayor of Luverne
  • Ben Schierer, Mayor of Fergus Falls
  • Dessa, Singer, rapper, and writer
  • PJ Fleck, Head Football Coach at University of Minnesota
  • Beth Ford, President and CEO of Land O’Lakes
  • Dr. Daniel Grossman, CMO of Best Buy and Emergency Medicine Physician
  • Dr. Josie Johnson, civil rights activist
  • Ben Schierer, Mayor of Fergus Falls
  • Lindsay Whalen, Head Women's Basketball Coach at University of Minnesota

This effort is one of the state's latest to encourage more Minnesotans to get the vaccine. Other programs include "Your Shot to Summer," which offers a free reward to those who get their first dose between May 27 to June 30, and "Cheers to the Vaccine," which offers a free or discounted drink at participating businesses to those who have gotten at least one vaccine dose.

According to state data, more than 3 million Minnesotans aged 12 and up have gotten at least one dose. As more people get vaccinated statewide, health officials say they expect to see COVID-19 outbreaks among pockets of unvaccinated people. For recent cases, they say the "overwhelming" amount of people suffering serious symptoms are not vaccinated.