Minnesota’s Dr. Osterholm says to skip the fair, citing Delta variant

The Minnesota State Fair will not require attendees to be vaccinated.

Minnesota State Fair/Facebook

Dr. Michael Osterholm, an epidemiologist at the University of Minnesota, says you shouldn’t go to the Minnesota State Fair.

“I would urge people to take a pass on this year’s fair,” Osterholm said on WCCO Radio. Despite mounting evidence that it’s extremely rare for COVID-19 to transmit outside, Osterholm says the Delta variant is different and that the fair poses a substantial risk.

He also says the fair is dangerous even to people who have received the vaccine, citing a fair that was held in the Netherlands as proof.

“A large fair that was held in the Netherlands a month and a half ago with 20,000 people, all either had to be vaccinated or have evidence of antibody to the virus. Still a thousand of that 20,000 became infected, breakthroughs with the vaccine,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Minnesota State Fair will not require attendees to be vaccinated but is encouraging both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals to wear masks at the event.

Osterholm’s warning about the fair underscores what public health figures around the nation have been saying about the coronavirus vaccine: that it doesn’t spell an end to the pandemic.

The number of “breakthrough” cases, those occurring among the vaccinated population, seems to be on the rise. In light of this, Surgeon General Vivek Murthy has defended booster shots while Dr. Fauci has said this measure is “likely” to be implemented. The CDC director even says booster shots for kids might be needed in the coming days.

The CDC also reports that “the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is planning for a booster shot so vaccinated people maintain protection over the coming months.”

Despite the large number of public figures and mainstream media outlets warning that even the vaccinated are at risk of COVID-19 infection, it seems that only a very small number of breakthrough cases are likely to cause hospitalization or death. CDC data from July suggest that just 0.0035% of those who have gotten two shots will experience a breakthrough infection severe enough to require hospitalization.

That same data suggest that only 0.0007% of the vaccinated population has died of such an infection.