News release: Health department State Fair booth highlights benefits of vaccines at every age

News Release
August 21, 2018

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Health department State Fair booth highlights benefits of vaccines at every age

Many people think about vaccinations as something that happens in childhood, but the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) 2018 State Fair booth will highlight the fact that people need vaccines throughout their lives.

Through a series of games and interactive displays, visitors to this year’s booth will learn that when people of all ages get vaccinated, they not only protect themselves from dangerous diseases but they also help protect people who can’t get vaccinated. This could include babies too young to be vaccinated or people with weakened immune systems due to illness or medical treatments like chemotherapy who are more vulnerable to vaccine-preventable diseases.

“Our need for vaccines never ends. They are an important part of staying healthy from birth through older adulthood,” said Kristen Ehresmann, infectious disease director for MDH. “We hope the booth will show people how vaccines work to help protect you, your family and your community from deadly disease.”

Booth visitors will play a variety of games, developed in partnership with the Science Museum of Minnesota, that illustrate the role of vaccines in keeping people, families and communities healthy. They can also spin a quiz wheel to test their vaccine knowledge, take an adult vaccine assessment to get a customized list of vaccines they may need and pick up information on how to check their vaccination status, such as requesting their vaccination record using the Minnesota Immunization Information Connection to ensure they are up-to-date on all recommended vaccines.

The MDH booth is in the Education Building, located just north of Dan Patch Avenue on Cosgrove Street. It will be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day of the fair.

Other MDH attractions at the fair

Antibiotic Stewardship Collaborative

The Minnesota One Health Antibiotic Stewardship Collaborative is hosting a booth in the Eco Experience building. Experts in medicine, animal health, public health and environmental health will be on hand to answer questions about antibiotic use, antibiotic resistance and environmental impacts of antibiotics. Widespread use of antibiotics for humans and animals drives the problem of antibiotic resistance, and some methods of disposal can lead to contamination of Minnesota’s lakes and streams.

Fair attendees will have the chance to sign an antibiotic stewardship pledge, take a crack at the question of the day and get a “Superheroes Fight Superbugs” temporary tattoo.  On Thursday, August 30 at 5 p.m. on  the Sustainability Stage in the Eco Experience building, an expert panel of physicians, veterinarians and scientists will discuss how antibiotic resistance has impacted their jobs and will answer questions from the audience. Also, the top three videos from the Lights, Camera, Action for Antibiotics Video Contest for Minnesota high schools will be shown at this time.

Drinking water

MDH’s environmental health program is sponsoring a drinking water exhibit in the Eco Experience building. The exhibit teaches visitors about Minnesota’s drinking water, encourages them to explore where our water comes from and understand the importance of keeping it clean. A new part of the exhibit, developed with the Dunwoody College of Technology, offers a “Window into your Groundwater” and helps visitors answer the question, “What Do You Know about H2O?”

Located near this exhibit in the Eco Experience building, the highly popular Water Bar gives fairgoers a chance to sample drinking water from around Minnesota.

Lactation Station

Located on Underwood Street between Wright and Randall avenues, the Lactation Station gives moms a quiet, cool place to breastfeed or pump breastmilk. While women in Minnesota can breastfeed anywhere they are legally allowed to be, including the fair, the myTalk 107.1 Lactation Station, sponsored by the Minnesota WIC Program, offers moms and babies a private place to feed or pump and pick up information about WIC services.

Mental Health Day

Monday, Aug. 27

For the first time, the Minnesota State Fair will have a dedicated day to focus on mental health. Mental Health Awareness Day will be Aug. 27 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Dan Patch Park located next to the Grandstand. Visitors can explore mental health and wellness resources through inspiring stage performances, music, demonstrations, yoga, information and more, including activities for children and teens. More than 40 organizations will participate in the day’s activities. MDH’s booth will encourage visitors to discover and share how communities can play a positive role in shaping mental health.


Media inquiries:

Doug Schultz
MDH Communications