How to talk about COVID-19 vaccines this Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving meal
Thanksgiving meal Photo credit GettyImages

With many who are gathering for the holidays conflicted over whether or not to get the COVID-19 vaccine, some tips from the Minnesota Department of Health can help steer the conversation.

The state announced that they are taking out full-page ads in major Minnesota newspapers to offer ideas on how to discuss the pandemic and vaccines.

Governor Tim Walz shared in a press conference that the goal is to help change the minds of those who are hesitant in getting the vaccine.

"I need you to have the conversations about those that are unvaccinated. Thanksgiving might be a good time," Walz said.

The ads are meant to help give tips on healthy conversations that are not divisive or confrontational.

Minnesota currently has around 75% of Minnesotans 18 or older who are fully vaccinated against the virus.

Despite being 17th among all states in vaccination rates, 62.1% according to Mayo Clinic, experts like Dr. Michael Osterholm have said that the state is currently the worst place to be in the country for COVID-19.

"We have one of the highest rates right now in the world, here in Minnesota, beginning to rival what we are seeing in Eastern Europe," Osterholm said.

He added that hospitals are nearing capacity across the state, with doctors and nurses working in horrible conditions.

"Intensive care staff are stretched beyond the max," the doctor said. "They are literally working under war-like conditions in terms of the stress and the post-traumatic stress that they are dealing with, and it doesn't end."

Because of this, Walz pleaded with Minnesotans to talk about the vaccine with those who are holding out, saying, "we're in the grip of this."

The conversation starters from the state can be found online on the state of Minnesota's website.

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