ST. PAUL — A total of 7,392 people in Minnesota have received two doses of the vaccine for COVID-19, according to new figures Tuesday, Jan. 12, from the State Department of Health.
That means roughly 0.1% of the state's population has been fully vaccinated for the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. Another 144,503 people have received at least one dose.
Health care workers and long-term care facility residents, as well as nursing home residents, are among those who are currently being vaccinated in Minnesota under a prioritization schedule drawn up by state health officials. By the end of January, health officials have said, Minnesota will have likely been allocated enough doses of vaccine — about 500,000 — to account for all members of the first group in that schedule.
Two doses of the vaccine are required in order for it to be fully effective.
It wasn't immediately clear Tuesday, Jan. 12 how the new federal guidelines meant to speed up vaccine distribution in the U.S. would affect Minnesota. Those guidelines, announced earlier Tuesday, suggest making all citizens ages 65 and older eligible for the vaccine.
On a phone call with reporters Tuesday, State Department of Health Director of Infectious Disease Kris Ehresmann welcomed the news but said that federal health authorities have yet to formally communicate the change in guidance to their Minnesota counterparts in writing. Until they do, she said, Minnesota will continue with its more targeted vaccination campaign using the "extremely limited vaccine supply that we have."
"At this point, no additional vaccine doses have been made available for Minnesota to order. No additional doses have been shipped to Minnesota, and no additional doses have arrived," she said. "We are hopeful about today's announcement by the federal government but we need follow-through."
Ehresmann said the State Department of Health is ready to vaccinate a wider range of people should its supply of vaccine doses increase. Her comments came as Minnesota reported an additional 1,335 new cases of COVID-19.
The current rate of COVID-10 case growth in Minnesota is 3.2%, State Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm said Tuesday, down from 3.5% last week. Malcolm said Minnesota's percentage of positive tests for COVID-19, based on a seven-day rolling average, is inching up and stands now at 7.5%.
An additional 13 deaths from COVID-19 were reported in Minnesota on Tuesday as well, bringing the state's pandemic death toll to 5,724. Four of the newly reported deaths occurred outside the Twin Cities area, and six occurred in long-term care facilities or group home settings.
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- Minnesota Department of Health COVID-19 hotline: 651-201-3920.
- COVID-19 discrimination hotline: 833-454-0148
- Minnesota Department of Health COVID-19 website: Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) website.